Yahoo launches Search Pad note-taking tool

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Yahoo launches Search Pad note-taking tool

Hopes application will boost search traffic.

Yahoo is set to launch a new tool designed to boost user productivity by enabling users to save web sites as they visit and take notes as they search.

Yahoo Search Pad has been available to certain users in beta since February, but will be officially launched in the UK and other regions today.

The note-taking application is built into Yahoo Search and "helps you collect, edit, organise, save, print and email your notes for immediate or future use", according to the firm.

Yahoo said that the tool could be useful in completing tasks and making decisions which require the user to collect information over several search sessions.

Search Pad will be on by default when using Yahoo Search, automatically recording the sites a user clicks on. If the user is researching a particular topic, the technology will "intelligently detect" this and ask whether they want to take notes.

The tool will then generate a pop-up window showing the sites the user has visited about the specific research topic, and a description of each page. It is similar to Google's Notebook service, which has now been shelved.

"Search Pad provides an elegant solution that understands when valuable research is being conducted, and offers a way to effortlessly gather information in one place," said Larry Cornett, vice president of consumer products at Yahoo Search.

"Yahoo Search Pad helps people make decisions, save their work, and share the best with friends and colleagues."

Mike Davis, of analyst firm Ovum, suggested that the tool could help Yahoo to retain users, although it is unlikely to encourage Google followers to switch to Yahoo Search.

"If you have all your data locked into a Yahoo vault, you'll need to go to Yahoo to get it," he explained. "There is a nice stickiness about it."

Davis added that the tool could be especially useful for mobile workers, accessed via a mobile browser on a smartphone or netbook.

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