Keeping Up With Google

Yahoo is Playing “Me Too” in Mobile Search

pro runners on track raceGoogle may keep raising the bar for search-engine sophistication, but its competitors are determined not to be left entirely in the dust.

Last week, Yahoo revealed a whole new look and feel for its mobile browserA program or application (app) used to navigate the World Wide Web, such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari or Mozilla Firefox. search. Hoping to capitalize on the mobile search trend — more than half of all Internet searches now happen from a mobile device — Yahoo is going for an approach that will offer up richer, more interactive content. The update makes it easier for people to take action straight from the search engine without first having to navigate to a website. Among other features, you can now get directions to a business, call, and see reviews and business hours without leaving Yahoo.

Strangely, so far the differences only appear on mobile web browsers, not Yahoo’s own app.

tumblr_inline_nqic4dlyki1qhxx5s_500All these things were already a normal reality in Google, so it’s a game of catch-up. Still, it does keep Yahoo in the game, and innovative competition is what will push the whole industry to continue improving.

Meanwhile, in the Microsoft corner, Bing has a new addition of its own. On many Bing homepages, users can now turn on audio that goes with the background.

It’s a purely cosmetic update, but for users on the fence about the efficacy of one search engine over another, aesthetics could be the determining factor in the brand loyalty choices of some searchers.

Google Offers New Progress Report Tool

Google has its own progress report, ever marching forward with continual algorithmFormulas or computational procedures used to solve complex computer problems. updates and tweaks. But in the visible feature department, its latest improvement is a simple yet valuable one: the functionality to easily check how your business hours appear on search results.

gybo screenshotBusiness owners who visit can enter their business name and city, and find out exactly how their listings will show up. The page stresses that a quarter of all businesses change their hours for the summer, and urges people to update their Google My Business listing if this statistic applies to them. Since Google Search and Maps lets searchers know whether a hunted-for business is currently open, this can be crucial to connecting customers with brick-and-mortar destinations. Hours of operation are the single most common piece of information that prospective customers  look for, so accurate listings are essential.