Meet “Axis,” the New Yahoo Search Tool
A new search tool from Yahoo gives Internet users a unique way to narrow down search results. However, it’s probably not going to help the troubled company right its sinking ship.
The new feature is called “Axis” and sets itself apart from Google and Microsoft’s Bing in one major way: when a search term is entered, Axis directs users to a list of relevant web site pictures rather than links. This gives users a quick glimpse of the sites associated with their search before clicking on.
Yahoo believes the process effectively removes the middle man, making it quicker and easier for web users to find the sites that will give them the information they want.
According to Yahoo product director Ethan Batraski, Axis “turns search into a companion, not a destination”.
But the feature may need some tweaking — according to some reports, all those images tend to slow down performance. That won’t be very popular if Axis is visibly slower than Google or Bing.
There’s also a handy auto-populate feature that changes search results as the term is being entered. In practice, it means users don’t have to hit the ‘enter’ key.
Clearly, Yahoo’s goal with Axis is to set itself apart from Google and Bing, which have recently received their own makeovers. And while those changes have made Google and Bing easier to use, Yahoo thinks Axis is still a whole lot better.
“Our search strategy is predicated on two core beliefs — one, that people want answers, not links, and two, that consumer-facing search is ripe for innovative disruption,” said Shashi Set, Yahoo Inc. Connections senior vice president.
“With Axis, we have redefined and re-architected the search and browse experience from the ground up.”
That might be a bit of an overstatement, but certainly Axis offers at least one very unique feature. But is it enough to save a company that has laid off thousands and recently lost its CEO amidst a storm of controversy? Probably not.