Yahoo unfurls accordion to revamp search

October 7, 2010

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz once played in an accordion band, so perhaps it’s fitting that the ole squeezebox has figured in to Yahoo’s products as the central motif in a revamped Internet search experience.

Yahoo has unveiled a snazzy new search interface that lets users flip between a stack of vertical tabs to view different types of results. Search on the rapper Lil Wayne for example, and you can quickly tab between groups of results like albums, videos and Twitter messages.

YahooAccordion1The new search interface, which the tech blogs have nicknamed ‘the accordion’, represents Yahoo’s first big overhaul of its search product since partnering with Microsoft.

Under the ten-year deal, Microsoft will handle so-called back-end search chores like crawling and indexing Web pages, while Yahoo will focus on improving the front-end of its search products, making search more than a mere “ten blue links” as Yahoo is fond of saying.

Yahoo’s accordion also comes as Internet search king Google has revamped its flagship search engine with Google Instant, which predicts a person’s search query as soon as they type a single letter in the search box, instantly returning the relevant results.

And it comes as some tech industry observers and analysts start to claim Bartz has failed to define a clear vision for Yahoo. In a world increasingly dominated by Google and social networking leader Facebook, they say Yahoo has failed to unveil new products to bring back some buzz to the Yahoo brand.

Perhaps the accordion will hit the first note in Yahoo’s comeback song…

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