partial recall

a blog of ideas, links, and musings.

Catching up to Google?


Today, Yahoo! introduced its Instant Search beta – it allows users to potentially return answers as you type. Think Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” but without the wait, because Yahoo’s search beta leverages AJAX technologies.

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Jason on September 19, 2005 AT 02 pm

Interesting to say the least. I like the idea, but there is a usability issue at hand (of course, usability is an issue with AJAX). I find myself sitting and wondering what’s going to happen. Sometimes it doesn’t give me results and other times, it does. It’s a little confusing. As I type, I would like it to give me something in return every time. It’s not consistent with the delivery of information. Great concept, but there needs to be some tweaking. Also, how will this effect a users interaction with “getting at” information? This is Web 2.0 and the web coming to me, but why’s it only coming to me sometimes? It should come to me every time.

Rob Fay on September 19, 2005 AT 02 pm


I completely agree with you. I’m not sure about you, but I rarely use Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” button. Similarly, even when a recommended site does pop up using Yahoo’s Instant Search Beta, how often is this site the one I am interested in?

In my humble opinion, I believe that Yahoo would be best served to use its AJAX technologies to already conduct the search based on my input, but it should not display a return until I submit my query. That way, the power of AJAX would be that my “submit” would return results more quickly…”submit” would instead be a command to display the query that had already been running while I typed in my search criteria.

On the other hand, perhaps they will change their search algorithms so that there’s always a return and the results might become more accurate…

Jason on September 20, 2005 AT 11 am

I could not agree with you more Rob. Yahoo! has a great concept here, but, like you, I do not use Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button either and neither does’ Yahoo’s concept break new bounds with it’s current AJAX means of “feeling lucky.” I know what I want when I search and I don’t feel lucky when I search. When I click “Search”, I want the information I requested. In fact, the whole “feeling lucky” thing sounds like they are giving you the best results they can but aren’t being professional about those results. It’s like Google’s saying, if you search the regular way, you’ll get solid results, if you search and “feel lucky,” it’s yours and our best guess with the return. Does this make sense? I don’t want you to tell me what I want, because I know what I want. Give AI another decade or two and maybe, just maybe, you’ll know what I want when I type something. Then, and only then, can I “feel lucky.”

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