Today, Yandex announced the latest update for its search engine. The “Andromeda” update has been rolled out by the Yandex search team over the last year and has included over one thousand improvements and features. The most notable of these features are:
- Enhancing “quick answers” functionality in search results, including the introduction of Experts to help users get better answers to their queries.
- Providing users with an easy way to recognize the most accurate and relevant sites directly within the search results.
- Giving users a way to save searches in a visual format with the introduction of Yandex.Collections.
Andromeda builds on the prior Korolyov and Palekh updates, which improved users' search experience by better understanding complex, informal inquiries and intent. This year’s update continues to use Yandex’s machine learning expertise to create more intuitive ways for users to find information.
"Since the previous search update, Korolyov, our share of search has been constantly growing - on desktop it increased by 2.5%, and on mobile it increased by 6%. The quality of our search is one of the key factors for the growth of our market share. And today we present a new large-scale update, which includes more than a thousand improvements. Our search team has worked on them for more than a year,” said Andrey Styskin, head of Yandex.Search.
With quick answers, users receive results for their queries in a straightforward manner. Quick answers have been available for some time for simple searches, such as checking when a particular holiday falls. Recently, Yandex has improved the quick answers functionality to allow more complex searches, for example showing the Spanish soccer schedule and related media when “Spanish championships” is searched. A search for “cafe” demonstrates the full capability of these recent enhancements, as users can browse and compare local cafes by price, reviews, and photos without ever leaving the Yandex search results.
The new Experts feature enhances quick answers by providing users with the most accurate and relevant information directly within the search results. Actual human experts work with Yandex to offer advice and solutions on various subjects. Users can enter a query like “why don’t electrons fall into the nucleus of an atom,” and if they don’t see the answer in the results, they can directly ask a physics expert. Users can see the available categories of all Experts questions and answers in one place on the Yandex.Experts page (Russian).
In the search below for “how to tell a cat he is wrong," an Expert provides the user an answer in a box to the right of the results.
Aside from improving the search results through quick answers and Experts, Yandex is also helping users ensure the information they see is from reliable sources. Yandex’s search engineers have been continuously improving search results to ensure that the highest quality sources are presented first. The sites where users found what they were looking for, made repeat visits, and those without distracting ads are more likely to feature at the top of results.
Part of improving the quality of search results includes new visual features to help users identify the most accurate sites directly within the results. Unique algorithms determine how to allocate badges to high quality sites in search results. Checkmarks are shown for Yandex websites and the sites of organizations and social media profiles verified by Yandex. Large and popular sites will feature an icon of a green flame with their result, while those with high user engagement and repeat visits have a green crown.
The introduction of Yandex.Collections (Russian) is another major part of improving the search experience with the Andromeda update. Collections gives users a visual way to save their searches and their favorite content. Items can be saved to a Collection directly from the search results, whether they be links, images, movies, or locations. Collections can be accessed on desktop and mobile devices so users can see their favorite content wherever they are. Users can also follow public Collections; for example, if one is in the market for a new lamp, they can see the public Collections that other users have created dedicated to lamps, as shown below. These public Collections will be available directly from the Yandex search results.
Yandex is excited to continue to enhance the user search experience and demonstrate its machine learning expertise with the Andromeda update. Give some of the new features a try today!