Dubbed Search Direct, it also offers real-time search results that change as you type each character. However, Yahoo! claims its service is superior in that it strives to provide "answers, not links."
"They’re very different products. We’re focused on providing answers, not links," TechCrunch cites Yahoo SVP of Search Products Shashi Seth as saying. "Google Instant is focused on providing more links, faster. Not answers. We believe the next generation of search regardless of whether it’s on the web or mobile, they’re looking for answers, not links."
Aesthetically, Search Direct is quite different to Google. While Google takes you immediately to its traditional results page and updates the results as you type, Yahoo! handles it all with a drop-down menu/widget. As the user types, Yahoo! provide the top 10 most likely searches and the top 3 results for each of those.
The feature also provides instant access to certain information, such as sports stats and movie times. For example, typing in 'Sean A' will result in a drop-down widget with two panels. On the left-side you'll see all the auto-complete options for 'Sean A,' while the right will display all of the 2010/11 stats and links to photos, news and video of New York Rangers left-wing Sean Avery.
The overall feel is a little less busy than Google Instant, because there isn't an entire page of text changing with every letter you type. However, while Google has an on/off switch for Instant, Yahoo! is, for the moment, using a different URL. The company plans to introduce Search Direct to the homepage in the coming months, but there's no mention of whether or not the feature will be optional at that point when they do bring it to the homepage.
Check it out at search.yahoo.com.