This weekend per Thomas Hawk’s blog I found out that Yahoo search is now including Flickr images as an expanded search option on a finite number of terms. I wanted to take a closer look at this to see exactly what approach Yahoo was taking with the pool of Flickr images.
To date the terms include the following…
Search Results Linked to Flickr’s Highest Traffic Page
Search Results Linked to Flickr Groups
Search Results Linked to Tag Driven Flickr Search
For the “Interesting Photos” search results page “Interesting Photos – Flickr Results” and “More Flickr photos” link straight to the Flickr Explore page. Personally I’m not too impressed by this as it’s strictly for self-promotion and really isn’t helping anyone searching for “interesting”. It’s strictly Yahoo’s interpretation of “interesting”.
“Travel Photography”, “Nature Photography” and “Black and White Photography” via the “*query term* – Flickr Results” and “More Flickr photos” search results links, on the other hand link to specific Flickr groups:
This might be of use to someone looking for an image, but really relevence is completely ignored. Flickr groups operate by listing images of most recent submission to oldest. Again my take on this is that the inclusion of Flickr results are for Flickr promotion or just plain eye candy.
For the last search result group “Funny ” and “Golden Gate Bridge” via the “*query term* – Flickr Results” and “More Flickr photos” link to Flickr search results based on individual tagging efforts. This has the most potential of the three Yahoo/Flickr integration approaches. Still how Yahoo Search applies a more intelligent search result in referencing Flickr tags is what will determine how well this feature is adopted by users. For more on the concept of relevence and intelligent search results check out Dan Heller’s article on Keywording and the Future of Stock.
Image search across the board is in a very early stage so this first step taken by Yahoo to test the water with Flickr integration is noteworthy, but it’s far from being at a point of being of use. Keep your eyes open this is likely going to be an area of fast paced development be and hard fought battles between the big search engines.
[tags]Flickr, Yahoo Search, tags, results, keyword, stock photography, [/tags]