Yahoo adds "premium" search features
January 26, 2002 2:42 PM   Subscribe

Yahoo adds "premium" search features using technology from Northern Light (now divine). [more inside]
posted by dhartung (13 comments total)
These will likely show up other places but the first visible location is the news article search, where almost every result page {e.g.} shows a "research documents" box with older news stories, which one can download for a variety of fees depending on the source. This seems marginally more useful than the archives of single news outlets, with pass-through profits for Yahoo as the middleman. In some cases you can get multiple-document subscriptions -- or maybe they're just experimenting with fee structures. I know if I were paying less than 50 cents an article I'd run up a huge bill in no time, but at $1 or $2.95 (typical prices I've seen so far) I usually make a beeline for the back button.

So ... Threat, or menace?
posted by dhartung at 2:46 PM on January 26, 2002

'threat, or menace?' I'll go with option three- 'trying to turn a profit, probably in a way that won't work.'
posted by louie at 3:26 PM on January 26, 2002

Yeah, good luck with that pay-per-search thing, yahoo. you'll need it.
posted by jpoulos at 3:33 PM on January 26, 2002

I stopped using Yahoo long ago in favor of Google. No one but hard core researchers in niche markets (i.e. Lexus-Nexus) are going to pay for searches.
posted by scottfree at 3:44 PM on January 26, 2002

25 million research documents culled from 7,100 publications, including academic periodicals

umm... My library card lets me look search through research documents and academic periodicals. Not only that, but I can do it for free from home by logging into my library's website with my library card number.

Expected revenue for yahoo: $0.00
posted by pheideaux at 3:52 PM on January 26, 2002

yahoo has turned some profits in interesting areas relying less and less on adverts but still managed to disapoint the street last week (and the pres resigned). I've also heard (although not so reliably) that users have complained how quickly their news urls go stale. Given all that I could see how easy it would be for a bunch of mid-level dweebs sitting around a starbuck's fireplace to convince themselves there's a business in archived news. I hope they know something I don't but I doubt it.
posted by victors at 4:15 PM on January 26, 2002

Google has pretty much redefined the search engine landscape. I would tend to think most consumers would migrate to it as their default search engine sooner or later. Most enterprises that actually need to search for specific content have already standardized around some industry standard database like Lexis-Nexis, Hoovers etc. So, I dont think Yahoo can expect terrific market pennetration using this. I understand that the Search business is quite cutthroat these day.

On a different note: In the light of consumer disillusionment of all things internet, I am not sure that Yahoo with its thin profit margins is very viable as an independent entity. It still has great brand equity and it is still the alternate e-mail account /portal of choice for many people -specially for those who avoid using Microsoft products as a matter of principle! It has a lot of stickiness also because of Yahoo groups, photos etc. I think Yahoo is an incredibly good acquision target. I only wonder who would buy it since it probably wont be AOL or MS.
posted by justlooking at 4:36 PM on January 26, 2002

The only problem with that, Kaushik, is that Yahoo! is Google. At least its search engine is. There's no realy reason for Joe Celeron(™) to switch to Google, especially when Yahoo! offers the customized MyYahoo crap. So, really, any money they get from this (I image someone will pay for it) is gravy, as long as your average search remains free.
posted by jpoulos at 5:20 PM on January 26, 2002

The one thing Google does have is the old Deja News (the groups tab). I find this invaluable for technical (software development) research to questions.
posted by scottfree at 6:00 PM on January 26, 2002

I've used the Northernlight pay search a few times. Luckily, you can immediately get your credit back if the item isn't useful--because it usually isn't.

I've had much better luck with places like Newstext, that specialize in news searches.
posted by frykitty at 6:59 PM on January 26, 2002

OKOK....The customized MyYahoo thing is pretty cool, I think. You can have your own headlines, stocks (if you have any, ha), entertainment stuff, mail notices, etc. and it's all free. FREE.

In my mind, that's a pretty good deal. And the way I see it, Yahoo doesn't get too pissy and try to jam stuff down your throat the way Hotmail does.

I've used Yahoo for quite some time and I was thinking that I've been pleased so far that if they asked me for a couple of bucks a month to use their service I might say no, but I wouldn't get all high and mighty on them and decry the corporate opressor either.

I hope they find a way to make money and keep from going out of business, as (in my opinion) one of the few portals that doesn't suck ass.

Just a thought.
posted by dr_emory at 7:34 PM on January 26, 2002

I'm surprised that divine is still around...nevermind buying anybody. Plus now with NEW "enterprise" packaging! People wave around that "enterprise" word like it's a magic wand. Pheh.
posted by lisatmh at 8:21 PM on January 26, 2002

Maybe the divine stock options I was given before getting laid off will finally be worth something!

Prolly not though . . .
posted by aladfar at 9:38 PM on January 26, 2002

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