Yahoo adds tools to bolster search results

SearchMonkey feature will let site owners enhance entries for product, news, and other pages

Yahoo is adding two features to its SearchMonkey development platform to help site owners enrich the results that their pages generate on Yahoo Search.

On Thursday, the company is announcing via a post on its Yahoo Search Blog that it will expand its tools for enhanced search results to items such as products, news, and events. Yahoo is also announcing it will accept five types of feeds from Google Base, Google's online repository for user-generated structured data.

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Going up against the much more successful Google, Yahoo is working to make the results from its search engine more useful to visitors and better channels for site owners that want to reach Internet users. In March, it announced a SearchMonkey tool that lets site owners add videos, documents, or games to the Yahoo Search results for their pages. All they need to do is add a few lines of code to the page where the item is embedded.

SearchMonkey is now offering a mechanism for users to add a variety of information and images to news, local information, product, event, and discussion pages. For example, a vendor could make prices, customer ratings, and a product image come up as part of the search result for the product's name. All it would take is a few lines of code, and the results would appear a few weeks later, after Yahoo has recrawled the page.

Yahoo will continue to support standard data formats such as RDFa (Resource Description Framework) and microformats, and it will add support for NewsML (News Markup Language) There is no sign-up process, Yahoo said.

Yahoo also announced a new capability for site owners with Google Base feeds. Google's online resource includes databases for several types of information, including events, cars for sale, and jobs. Yahoo will accept five types of Google Base feeds: Event, Product, Review, Job, and Personals.

Google Base users can submit their existing Google Base feeds to Yahoo Site Explorer to have those feeds represented in Yahoo Search. In addition, Yahoo Site Explorer will convert that feed to DataRSS XML so it can be stored within Yahoo and accessed by third-party search engine developers who use Yahoo's BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service).

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