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Yahoo! launches Alpha search engine

Yahoo! AlphaTaking a page from Google’s Searchmash experiment, the Yahoo Alpha search engine provides neatly organized results from the web, Flickr, Yahoo Answers and other sources.

Specifically, Alpha generates a dynamic search-results page with modules that can expand or collapse. A search for soul goddess Amy Winehouse, for instance, produced the usual web-search results in the central module, with modules for Flickr, Yahoo Answers, YouTube, News, and Wikipedia alongside it. (Yahoo even relegates sponsored results to its own module–nice). Within any given module, clicking Next reveals the next batch of results without actually jumping to another page.

It would be great if you could rearrange the modules in order of desired priority, or specify which modules to include, though I have to imagine those features are on the drawing board. You see, Alpha is–wait for it–currently in beta. And it has the slow, buggy performance to prove it. But see if you don’t come away thinking this is the way search engines oughta be.

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