With its agnomen, “Search Pad,” Yahoo has developed an online note-taking device, whereby users can record notes and search results using a built in feature. The new development may be an effort to revive the sliding popularity of Yahoo as a search engine. By late Tuesday, the feature should be available to most users.
The concept of Search Pad is simple: organize and record web research as you go. Search Pad can detect when a user is doing research, using tools that Yahoo’s Cornett cryptically described as “deep science.” The deep science is a very nice feature for users who don’t want to remember to turn a note feature on and then commence research. Thankfully, there is nothing deeply scientific about recording your searches. Yahoo does it automatically, without your needing to prompt it or turn it on.
Search Pad is more than just a glorified “history.” It enables the users to add notes to particular entries, move entries, categorize searches, delete sections, save searches—and all the while not distracting you with annoying upkeep. The cloud-computing technology of the Search Pad has it poised as a helpful feature for the kind of research that most of us are accustomed to doing on the Internet—from figuring out when to seed our lawns, to determining the best smartphone to buy. Users don’t need to download a new app or plugin; Search Pad is right there, all the time.
Positioned in the upper right-hand corner of Yahoo’s search page, the recording feature offers one-click access to all of the notes you need to aid and sustain your research. Want to do some research for a friend and send her the results? Yahoo allows the search notes to be sent via e-mail, which means that you can share your Search Pad notes with others.
Some have speculated that simply on the basis of this feature, Yahoo will “steal the search throne from Google.” Such a claim may be basing way too much on the mere initiation of a note-taking feature. The question is, who really wants to take notes while they search the web? For some, it will undoubtedly be helpful. But, if Yahoo is thinking that this is going to be a web-changer and propel them back into the limelight of search engines, they may need to add a few more tricks. One of the problems is that non-Yahoo devotees may be disenchanted by the need to perform all searches through Yahoo. According to their thinking, if they want to do research that badly, why not use Google’s own note-taking feature?
For Yahoo’s own review of the Search Pad, check out their site.