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Yahoo! assists! searches!

Anyone for strip poker?

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Yahoo! folk have thrown a large web 2.0 ball at their search engine by giving it a makeover in an effort to grab market share from rival internet firm Google.

From today, users of the search engine will have access to a drop-down menu that automatically detects keywords linked into their specific search.

Dubbed Search Assist, the facility hones in on words typed into the search engine box coughing up a range of possible query suggestions as well as related topics and concepts.

Yahoo! said it hoped the new "real-time" interface would help users simplify searches while yielding better results.

The site, which trails a distant second place to Google's ubiquitous search engine, has also had video, audio, and photos integrated into its search results.

The firm's European search engine VP, Jeff Revoy, said: "We know that consumers want a complete answer, not just links, and the enhancements we are making are focused on getting people to the best answer in one search whether that's a web link, photo, video, or music clip."

Meanwhile, founder and newly appointed CEO of Yahoo!, Jerry Yang, earlier this week told a gathered crowd of advertising execs, who are not typically known for their touchy-feely side, that it's actually pretty lonely at the top.

According to today's Financial Times, Yang said: "When you become CEO, the behaviours change. It is a lonely job because you have to make the tough decisions."

So what happens if you tap Jerry Yang into the firm's Search Assist facility?

Well, it spurts out a range of options including "player", "winner" and "champ". Mind you, most of these searches actually refer to the California-born winner of the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event.

As for Yang the man at Yahoo!, we at Vulture Central imagine he's still got a card or two up his sleeve. ®

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