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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 April, 2005, 10:36 GMT 11:36 UK
Yahoo search tools get personal
Screengrab of Yahoo homepage, Yahoo
Yahoo's My Web system is joining others
Yahoo has launched a test version of a series of personal search tools.

The Yahoo My Web tools will let people store, search and share the information they look for and find on the net.

The range of extras for searchers works alongside Yahoo's instant messaging, blogging and e-mail services.

The move puts it into direct competition with rivals such as Google, Ask Jeeves and MSN which have already shown off similar tools.

Search wars

Yahoo's My Web gives users the ability to set up a searchable store of everything they have looked for online. In it they can keep useful webpages, results of searches and their entire search history.

The pages saved can be annotated with notes and other users can subscribe to the data being collected to get information relevant to them. Saved pages can also be published as a crude kind of blog.

Ask Jeeves logo, Ask
Sites such as My Jeeves already have personal search tools
My Web is an update to the search history system that Yahoo first introduced in October 2004. Yahoo said the development of My Web had been driven by suggestions and requests by early users.

The My Web system also works with a toolbar that lets people click to save pages they come across and to search across all the information they have stored.

Yahoo said that the software interface to My Web will be made public so other developers and organisations can use the system to create their own services.

In releasing My Web Yahoo becomes only the latest search firm to try to personalise search.

In recent weeks Google has released a personalised search page and Ask Jeeves has expanded the capabilities of its My Jeeves service. Amazon's A9 search site has long allowed users to look up all the things they looked up.

MSN has yet to release its personal search tools but it, and others, has released a desktop search system that lets people browse through what they have on their home PC.

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