Yahoo Instant Search is Nifty
Yahoo is beta testing a new feature called instant search which, when you type in a search term, serves a pop-up balloon with the first search result listed for that term. So, you type the term – wikipedia, and after you finish typing the term and before you push “Search the Web” Yahoo serves a comment balloon with the first results which happens to be the Wikipedia web page.
Google has used “I’m Feeling Lucky” as a way to showcase their relevant results by letting the user entrust Google to taking them directly to the first page in the search term results instead of actually seeing the results. Yahoo Search must have also gained a similar amount of confidence in their search index and relevancy with their answer to Google’s Lucky tool, Yahoo’s Instant Search.
Go ahead and give Instant Search a try. It’s not going to work for all terms, and certain terms have been designated by Yahoo as being Instant Search compatible. Notice how a search for weather related information serves the internal Yahoo shortcut result as opposed to external websites.
In the same way that Google and Yahoo use the “below the sponsored link, above the top spot” space to showcase their vertical offerings such as Shopping, Weather, Local and News; Yahoo is taking this a step further with Instant Search (in certain situations). The next step of course would be bypassing the web results completely for such a search query and taking the user directly to the vertical offering results. Not too sure if users are ready for such a service yet though.