Yahoo Search and Yahoo Sports are working together to bring Yahoo Sports Shortcuts to the searching experience. The first batch of shortcuts is for current Major League Baseball players.
As an example, let’s say you want to get the lowdown on the current MLB strikeouts leader, Cy Young contender & Orioles lefthander Erik Bedard.
Instead of searching through Yahoo results or sports pages, most of the basic information you need on Bedard is available via the Yahoo Shortcut, including current 2007 stats, Yahoo Fantasy Ranking, and quick links to news, game logs, scores & photos.
Looking at other search engines, Microsoft’s Windows Live Search has a very basic overview of the pitcher’s stats and news clips while Ask.com surprisingly does not have a Smart Answer for a search on Bedard.
Try a search on Yahoo for a player making major current news right now, like Barry Bonds, and the Yahoo Sports Shortcut is supplemented with a shortcut provided by Yahoo News, addressing the appropriate user experience as most people searching on Yahoo for Mr. Bonds right now are interested in his controversial yet historic breaking of Hank Aaron’s home run record, and not his current stats for the season.
(Note that the Barry Bonds Yahoo Sports page is ranked #5 in this result.)
Ask.com does have a Smart Answer for Barry Bonds, with content driven from mlb.com, wikipedia and who2.
The Yahoo Sports Shortcuts are a very welcome addition to the Yahoo Search experience, especially since Yahoo Sports, in my opinion, is the premier online sports news, fantasy sports & statistics portal. The use of shortcuts greatly enhances the use experience as quality content is delivered to the end user via quick linking in a manner any searcher can easily understand.
I expect this to be a success, drive more traffic to internal Yahoo Sports pages, and for Yahoo Search to roll out NFL, NBA and possibly even NHL Yahoo Shortcuts as each season begins.