nicolas leroy

Yahoo! SearchMonkey is live (and some thoughts on search innovation)

May 25, 2008

Yahoo! SearchMonkey, the platform that allows publishers to enhance the display of their indexed pages on Yahoo! Search, is now live in the US and the UK. You can test it by searching on Yahoo! Search and browsing the gallery of existing applications. Only a few apps are installed by default (i.e: the YouTube app); most of them are available by opt-in via the gallery.

The Shopping section is still poor, waiting for more apps to be reviewed and approved. But, as part of the Yahoo! family, Kelkoo in the UK and Yahoo! Shopping in the US have their own apps ready.

The Kelkoo application:

The Yahoo! Shopping application:

I wrote quite a lot about SearchMonkey in the past weeks. Surely because I’m working at Yahoo!; also, because I’m happy to see innovation in the search business – SearchMonkey, Yahoo! Glue Pages or Microsoft Live Search Cashback are new features that try to be disruptive in the search market. Interestingly all those features have some touch points with online shopping. But is that surprising? There is a really good analysis on TechCrunch about the search market and the importance of e-commerce in the search monetization:

Today the worldwide online advertising market is somewhere in the $40 billion range, and there are estimates that it will grow to $80 billion by 2010. The search piece of that is big – about 40%. So $16 billion or so today, growing to $33 billion by 2010. Google gets the vast majority of that search revenue today. […] Only about a third of searches are commerce related, but those searches generate 80% of search revenue. Get the commerce searches and you’ve got the revenue. And here’s another interesting statistic – 68% of online purchases begin at a search engine or shopping comparison site.

It’s clear in the near future search engines will implement more and more features that “traditionally” belong to CSEs (you can also read “When Search Engines and Comparison Shopping Engines Combine“). It’s good for search innovation to blur the lines, maybe not that good for independant CSEs…