Yahoo! Betas New News Search

Yahoo leverages its recently-launched algorithmic Web search in a new version of News Search, now in beta testing.

The portal player now combines data from its Yahoo News section, which consists of headlines and stories fed by partners, with news its crawler finds on the Web. The company says it’s crawling more than 7,000 news sources in 35 languages.

The beta release brings Yahoo more closely in line with competitor Google, which has had its Google News site and a related Web news search function in beta for more than a year. Microsoft’s MSN has also been testing a news search feature, along with a headline aggregator, on its international and foreign language sites. But that news search doesn’t use information from a Web crawler, relying solely on data from partner Moreover. MSN Newsbot is now running in France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, South Africa, India, Malaysia and Singapore. There’s also a version for U.S. Latinos.

Yahoo has added more advanced search features to its beta News Search, allowing users to search by source and by physical location. Users can also sort results by relevance or date. A new “also try” feature on the results page suggests other queries that might return more relevant results. Yahoo is also linking more prominently to appropriate sections of its “full coverage” news features.

Overture paid listings appear on the right of the search results on some, but not all, queries.

“One of the things that we had done across our search is determining which queries are commercially oriented and which are not,” said Diana Lee, a Yahoo spokesperson. “For those that are not commercially oriented you would see either fewer or no commercial results.”

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