Yahoo recently rolled out the first update of its browser plugin, Axis, which makes it easier for users to access Yahoo search without navigating to the site’s homepage. For the most part, the new features look to make the tool easier to use and are unlikely to impact Yahoo SEO. Yahoo did not mention adoption numbers for Axis, which suggests the plugin has struggled to give the company the boost in use it expected.
While Yahoo is still powered by the Bing algorithm, the events of the summer have led many to wonder if this relationship will last much longer. Aside from the rollout of Axis, the appointment of former Google executive Marissa Mayer suggests the company may head in a different direction given her background in product design and local services.
Whether or not Mayer had anything to do with some of the additions to Axis is unknown, but there are a few updates that will make it easier for users to navigate the Axis and its mobile apps. According to Yahoo’s blog post, the plugin can now be opened and closed more easily. In the initial rollout, there was no option to close Axis after opening it other than exiting the browser entirely. Moreover, mobile users can now open links in new tabs and set a private browsing mode to access sites with any tracking.
Without a figure indicating Axis’ adoption, it’s difficult to determine whether or not the tool has helped Yahoo establish a new direction in search. Brafton recently highlighted data from comScore that found Yahoo’s share of the search market had fallen to 13 percent in June, falling for the 10th consecutive month.