Search Direct is very similar to Google Instant in that provides results instantaneously as you type in a search field, before ever hitting the search or enter button. Like Instant, the goal of Search Direct is to provide search results as quickly as possible, which provides the user with a list of fast and simple results.
Yahoo! actually positions the product as “going beyond a list of blue links”, which is interpreted by many as a direct attack on Google Instant. Search Direct differs from Instant in that their drop down box displays a list of keywords on the left, which will bring a user to the traditional search results page, but also displays a box on the right that often incorporates relevant information from one of many Yahoo! products, like Yahoo! Answers or Finance.
So what are some examples of how Search Direct could be helpful for a user? One particular strength would be if you’re looking for a quick answer on the score of last night’s game or to check who your home team is playing next.
You also have the ability to look up your favorite players’ statistics quickly.
Search Direct can also be helpful if you are looking to shop online for a particular item, as they will display many relevant shopping results on the right hand side.
My personal favorite is looking up financial information on Search Direct. By entering the ticker symbol of a stock, all of the relevant stock information will pull up on the right hand side including a chart of the day’s performance.
Finally, you can also quickly look up the forecast for your city by entering a query like “weather boston” in the search bar, which will pull up a snapshot of the 3 day forecast.
So will Search Direct impact your online business’ SEO efforts? Well the simple answer is no, but there may be some measures you want to take just to be safe. As I mentioned earlier, the drop down box displays relevant search queries on the left hand side and various answers (mostly) from Yahoo! products on the right. Understanding this, it’s important for your business to have a presence on some of the more relevant Yahoo! channels. For example, if you own a brick and mortar location, you will want to make sure you are listed on Yahoo Local, which will help make sure you show up in Search Direct if someone types your business name or category for a local search. Also, by participating on Yahoo! Answers you will not only give more exposure to your brand on a very popular Q&A site, but your answers may also show up in search results on Search Direct.