Created relevant search features to highlight licensed SNL video content.
Yahoo Screen was planning to release a massive catalog of Saturday Night Live clips, spanning the series entire run. I was approached to create relevant search features to highlight the licensed content.
I was given a list of video collections–recurring characters, hosts, themes, etc.–and an enormous spreadsheet containing video metadata for every single item in the catalog. My task: organize this data into discrete sets of keywords to bring up the precise, relevant video result or carousel of results, and investigate existing search coverage of SNL to ensure we cover those videos.
In addition to creating basic query patterns for such a huge catalog, I was able to have some fun creating aliases for the more popular videos, such as “needs more cowbell.” Specific clips and characters were likely to appear in search logs shortly after new episodes aired, so I planned to monitor dashboards in order to add new videos and keywords Sunday mornings.
I turned around a huge list of keywords in a matter of days so the search experience launched at the same time as the Screen content. Post-launch, I trained a teammate how to look up video IDs and identify relevant query patterns so we could take advantage of the unique, timely spikes that only SNL had.
Created rich search experiences to feature Yahoo Screen originals alongside knowledge graph.
When Yahoo Screen made its foray into full-length original TV series with Community and others, we were ready to go in search. I made sure that the latest episodes carousel had excellent coverage and TV Series Knowledge Graph contained accurate, detailed profiles.
Built special “vertical search” feature to support new property launches and reduce maintenance.
Yahoo launched several new media verticals called “Magazines” and did not migrate any corresponding vertical search experiences, which were based on an older platform. Instead, a search product manager was tasked with adding vertical content to web search, filtered according to the user’s site of origin, and they enlisted my support to create and launch the necessary features in our search content management platform.
Each query sent from a search box included more than just the user’s query–it contained referral information, usually unique to the property or even page. I used this information to determine when a search experience should appear, as well as pass variables to a backend. The news backend, which indexed news from hundreds of sources worldwide, including Yahoo’s own sites, could return articles matching any query, filtered by property and sorted by freshness.
Expanding on a template design already in use for news results in general web search, I created a “vertical search” feature that included up to 10 results with thumbnails for each and paginated results if there were more than 10 stories matching a given query. This large search feature appeared on top of the usual web algorithmic links and any other non-monetized search features.
Product owners also asked for Magazine stories to be highlighted in web search results (in a less aggressive form, of course). I created simple “navigational” features with a max of 3 stories to appear on searches by Magazine name and featured writers to satisfy their primary need. Because Magazine stories were indexed along with all news content, these stories could appear in regular news search results without any extra effort.
“Emily always brings a number of ideas and potential solutions to a problem, but will back them up with execution reliably, quickly, and self-sufficiently, and manages dependencies deftly and efficiently. When tasked to launch international Magazine Search in Q4, Emily took the lead, coordinating with int’l editorial leads, offering assistance where necessary, and following up to ensure completion, ensuring the appropriate Product approvals (from me) and transparency of communication. The task was completed successfully, quickly, and helped ensure a Green rating on that quarterly goal.”
Product Manager, Vertical Search
No-maintenance, low-effort vertical search launched on all new Magazines. Sites and big-name authors were effectively promoted in web search.
Keyword mapping and search placement for curated original video content.
Yahoo’s video site, Screen, hosted a wide variety of original content over the years, and they periodically asked for this content to appear in search results.
Over the years, I built a relationship with contacts working on Yahoo’s video properties to support their efforts to receive views via relevant search traffic. While at first these appeared in search only as enhanced hyperlinks, eventually the search front-end team implemented an inline player functionality so we could embed Yahoo original content and other videos directly on a search results page. I created an expandable search feature that allowed me to respond quickly to the video team’s requests and generate appropriate keyword lists.
Teams throughout Yahoo knew they could rely on Search to support their efforts to promote premium original content on-network without using significant resources per request.
Ask Search leadership wanted to take advantage of our then-new content management platform to release a complete suite of Olympics results features in each of 12 key markets, including the Arabic language site Maktoob. As an editorial leader and tool expert, I was tapped to organize the global team in this complex, ambitious effort.
Process While the search front-end engineering team developed templates designed specifically for the Olympics–the first time our platform was used for an important tentpole experience–our editorial team organized into content/query experts and technical builders capable of wrangling backend data and tricky template mapping. I oversaw these efforts and maintained detailed tracking of efforts on a per-market basis.
In lieu of engineering-heavy front-end localization, I created an editorially-driven “localization” data source that was easy to use in the content management platform and simple for the global team to input and update specific text strings for UX copy. This made it easier to build centralized featured and simultaneously deploy in almost every market.
Keyword creation was an immense undertaking: we built whitelists of thousands of athlete names and variations (including event and country); numerous patterns were developed to address results by event/sport and country.
I was responsible for keeping stakeholders up to date, ensuring all delegated work was completed in time, supporting pre-launch QA, and understanding how it all worked well enough to address bugs and concerns as they arose.
Result Our successful global Olympics experience demonstrated the power of the content management platform and the non-technical editors who worked with it. It also highlighted ways to improve the process to reduce engineering overhead and make even more complexity and customization possible.