Yahoo is launching a new programme that will allow website owners to build plug-ins for Yahoo Search that will enhance their listings in the search results pages.

Users of Yahoo Search will then have the option of switching on these enhanced listings, and will see these results when the publisher’s site comes up on a search.

These plug-ins will provide additional information in the search results pages, such as further links into a website, images, ratings, reviews and video.

One of the first examples is US local search site Yelp. Yahoo users who have enabled this plug-in will see links to Yelp’s reviews, photographs, and address information for various restaurants and local facilities.

According to Yahoo Search’s Amit Kumar, the ordering of search results will not be altered by these plug-ins:
“This is not a paid relationship; it’s all about relevance”

Users of Yahoo will be able to enable and disable these plug-ins from the results, as well as forward them to friends and contacts.

The search engine will not promote or feature plug-ins that have advertising, or are irrelevant to searchers. Yahoo will provide publishers with the tools to create plug-ins. These new enhanced listings are expected to start appearing in search results in the next few months.

Users of Yahoo will be able to enable and disable these plug-ins from the results, as well as forward them to friends and contacts.

Certainly an interesting development, but whether this will be enough to lure more users over from Google is the key question and, as a web publisher, you have to question whether it will be worth the effort in creating the plug ins with such a small market share of the searches performed each day.