Yahoo has lifted the veil on the “deep Web” with the beta version of Yahoo Subscription Search.
The “deep Web” includes information on the Web that is not available for free. This information is not listed within general search results. Yahoo will now offer results for sites such as The Wall Street Journal, which offer subscription access and require a password. Results for the Journal will be limited to articles published within 30 days that are about publicly traded companies.
Other “deep Web” sites that users will now be able to include in searches are Consumer Reports, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Financial Times (FT.com), IEEE and The Street.com.
More On Its Way
Yahoo said that it will soon add ACM, Factiva, Lexis-Nexis and Thomson Gale content to its results. The company is seeking more publishers who wish to be included.
“We are in the very early stages of providing our users with access to the ‘deep Web’ through Yahoo search subscriptions and over the coming months we plan to expand this program to further accommodate our users’ wide range of interests,” said Eckart Walther, Yahoo Search vice president of product management.
Yahoo said it has no plans to sell advertising for the subscription-only search results.
When results come up, any subscription results will be at the top of the listing within a box titled “Subscription Results for Yahoo.” Users can search only specific subscription sites or a combination of free and subscription content.
Much Content Hidden
Although Danny Sullivan, editor of Search Engine Watch, told E-Commerce Times it is very difficult to pin down how much of what’s on the Web is hidden, he did say that some experts estimate the figure to be as high as 90 percent of all content. Sullivan said he believes the new search option is very valuable.
“Anything that helps people be exposed to more information is great,” he said.
Andy Beal, vice president of marketing, WebSourced, commented to E-Commerce Times, “I think this move demonstrates that search will ultimately become a more personalized solution. The search engines want you to provide them with as much information as possible, so they can not only provide you access to the ‘hidden’ Web, but also get a better understanding of what Web sites you like to view.”
“As Yahoo adds more subscription content options to Subscription Search, it will learn a great deal about what a user reads and what their interests are. This new information can help Yahoo to customize the search results they display to you,” Beal added.
Yahoo is embroiled in a battle with Google, MSN and AOL, all of which are trying to draw more unique users to their sites with enhanced search features and services.
“Google sort of does this with Google Scholar, and I’m sure the others will look and see about expanding,” Sullivan said.