Joe Meloni

A report from Yahoo detailed new rollouts for image and video SERPs that will help users find high-quality content more easily. The adjustments place a focus on strong images and videos as well as ease of use, with thumbnails of photos and previews of video available directly on Yahoo SERPs.

In keeping with the company’s image search features, Yahoo has also rolled out continuous scroll to its video SERPs so users can find content without having to navigate through several different pages (and this may be good news for SEO marketers with video content that hasn’t achieved top ranking yet). Moreover, they searchers can sort both image and video content by quality as well as recency, so they can view the most recent videos posted to the web.

Among the most useful tools for users is a new search while you watch capability, which allows users to watch content and browse other topics at the same time.

In general, Yahoo has looked for ways to make its search product different than its competitors‘ search features in recent months. The rollout of Axis, a browser plugin and mobile app, represented a strong shift toward innovation from the company. However, neither users nor marketers focused on SEOhave been quick to adopt Yahoo as their preferred platform.

Yahoo's new video SERP enables users to search for more content while they preview a video.
Yahoo’s new video SERP enables users to search for more content while they preview a video.

There’s no doubt that Yahoo’s changes have improved their product, as both Axis and these image and video search announcements will give their services a modern feel. However, Google’s reign of dominance in search does not appear to be weakening. Additionally, Bing, Yahoo’s partner in search, holds a sizable lead over Yahoo.

Brafton recently reported that Yahoo dropped search market share in May even after rolling out Axis. The company now holds 13.4 percent of the market, down from the 13.5 percent it claimed in April.

Further fueling headlines of about the struggles of its products, Yahoo recently announced the cancellation of two services, Web Analytics and social network Meme, citing poor usage figures. Some suggest the company is streamlining its offerings to regain strength in the search market, but inner turmoil may be contributing to dropping products. The company recently named its fourth CEO in the last two years.

Despite the issues with its boardroom and tertiary products, Yahoo’s search updates have been strong indicators that the company is actively looking to make its No. 1 product more useful. Making up the ground it has lost to competitors in recent years will be difficult, but it’s clear Yahoo believes innovation through search is the path to pursue – and search marketers should look out for new features from the company.