Yahoo unveils Search Pad beta

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Yahoo is rolling out a new tool that it claimed will vastly simplify researching topics on the web.

Search Pad "intelligently detects" when people are researching around a topic, such as holidays, and after the user has conducted a few searches a pop-up window appears wondering whether Yahoo should be taking notes.

If the users replies with a yes, it lists the sites you've been searching, showing a headline, brief summary of the site and a link. Further searches are also recorded, with the ability to add notes.

This information can then be saved and shared with friends through Yahoo's Delicious social-bookmarking service, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Yahoo hopes Search Pad will appeal to those people who tend to cover their desks in scraps of paper, or find themselves posting dozens of links into text documents.

"We've been paying attention to this customer need for some time and on how to address it. Other search engines aren't addressing it," said Tom Chi, senior director of user experience at Yahoo.

This last point is true, although it ignores the fact that Google shelved a similar project called Notebook last year.

Search Pad is currently in beta and will be rolled out to UK customers over the next few weeks.