• Integrated with email
• Extra features – Yahoo! Answers and Yahoo! Clues
• Easy to use
• Good security & safety features
• Fewer features
• Some confusing sections
Compared to feature-heavy and popular Google and Bing, there isn’t really a compelling reason to use Yahoo! over those two services. However, Yahoo! is fast, reliable and easy to navigate and it offers a few features that the other two search engines don't.
Yahoo! offers a range of tools and a solid search engine facility. We looked at the features Yahoo! offers to see if this service is worth searching for.
The Search Assist feature can be turned on or off depending on whether you want Yahoo! to give you suggestions.
The search results are generated through Yahoo!’s indexing and crawling of the net, and the placing of certain sites higher up the rankings than others. When you type in a search term you find results from all categories – web, news, videos, and twitter feeds.
For certain popular websites, for example in the health sector, you can generate results only from these sites, which saves you heading to the website and repeating your search on the site’s own search engine.
Image search – The slideshow feature is a handy one, and fun to use. It gives you a range of recent images all matched to your search word or term. The size and the location of the image are displayed directly below the images in the search results. There are fewer filters but you can search by size or black and white / color.
Video search – The video search in Yahoo! turns up a lot of results quickly, and the filters are similar to other search engines’ – filter your results by the length of video, the source of the video and the date.
Local – The local search on Yahoo! is specifically tailored to the location you set in your main Yahoo! preferences – if you don’t keep this updated you won’t find relevant results. Similarly, if your location is too specific, you won’t get the best results. We found the local search function a little difficult to get the best use from.
Shopping – The shopping search turns up an extensive range of products for you to compare and buy, most of which are relevant to the search term. The shopping section on Yahoo! is very comprehensive.
News – The news search doesn’t only generate results from Yahoo! news, but gives you the headlines from across the Internet. Blog results show up at the bottom of the page of news results but there is no separate blog search.
Yahoo! Answers is one feature the other search engines don’t have. This feature is a user-generated site where you can ask and answer quick questions about any subject. There’s also a directory section, a jobs section, finance and sports sections.
Yahoo! Clues is an interesting feature. You enter a word in the search box and then find out about the search term’s popularity. You can also compare your term with another and get the stats on both.
Turn the safe search function on or off to block or allow adult videos and images to show up in your searches. You can also ask Yahoo! to alert you to websites that are potentially harmful to your computer. You can report offensive sites, search spam and search abuse to Yahoo!.
There are fewer ads on Yahoo! than the top two search engines. But they are more difficult to spot – especially the adverts at the tip of the page. They are called sponsored results but they are paid advertising.
Certain results are enhanced, which means they look different and may include multiple categories. Bear in mind that Yahoo! may be earning money from these enhanced listings.
Ease of use
Because Yahoo! search is integrated with email it is easy to search while keeping your eye on your email messages. If you’re not signed in with Yahoo!, the search engine is still easy to operate. Some of the sections are more straightforward than others, for example the Directory section is a little difficult to use.
Help & support
Make use of the help and support topics on the Yahoo! website to look for the answers to your queries. The help and support site contains the answers to a whole host of queries from searching tips to spam and online safety.
If you want to contact Yahoo! directly, send an email through the specified form and you will be directed to further help, or the Yahoo! team will offer solutions. As with the other search engines, answers to your questions are unlikely to be offered personally.
Yahoo! search offers a reliable, straightforward search engine service with less features than Bing or Google and less compelling reasons to use this search engine over the top two. But because Yahoo! is integrated with a range of other features like email and news, it is a good one-stop-shop for searching while you email and navigate the web.
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