Yahoo Searching for Ways to Show Fewer Web Links (May 21, 2009) — Yahoo Inc. is trimming Web links from its Internet search results as it endeavors to provide more immediate satisfaction and invite traffic away from Google Inc.

yahoo“We need to move away from a Web of pages to a Web of objects,” said Prabhakar Ragahavan, who oversees Yahoo’s search strategy.

Yahoo is hoping it can differentiate itself from its rivals by packaging its results so just about everything users want is on the first page of listings.

Yahoo thinks it is able to track the search patterns and interests derived from requests made on the same computer.

Now Yahoo has been phasing out the blue links that have traditionally filled up search result pages. In their place, Yahoo is showing more capsules of vital information that include images, video and even sound bites.

Some of Yahoo’s upgrades were made months ago and are probably already familiar to the search engine’s millions of loyal users.

For instance, searches for restaurants already include the address, phone number and maps on the main search page while searches of singers often feature videos and snippets of their latest songs.

Yahoo may plan to start showing nothing but images of landmarks or other pertinent pictures to some requests made through its general search engine.

The technology for emphasizing more photos and video in response to general search requests is still being tested. It also may start showing more graphical ads next to its search results instead of text-based links, executives said.

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