Yahoo is teaming up with online review website Yelp to improve its local search result capabilities.
Marissa Mayer, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Yahoo, revealed the partnership at an employee meeting on Friday, February 7. A Wall Street Journal report cited a person, who attended the Yahoo employee meeting and suggested that the latest partnership will integrate Yelp's listings and reviews of local businesses into Yahoo results page.
The Wall Street Journal report says that the person did not reveal the implementation date for the new feature but added that it will be made available in the coming weeks.
The latest partnership with Yelp can help Yahoo differentiate from Microsoft Bing, the website's partner in search, and also compete with the Internet search giant Google.
Yelp already has very similar content partnerships with other companies such as Microsoft and Apple, which displays local business listings, reviews and photos on its mobile mapping app.
In 2010, Yahoo and Microsoft entered into a agreement, under which Microsoft gets 12 percent of the revenue that Yahoo generates via search ads displayed next to search results. The pact between the two companies is for 10 years; however, the terms of the deal suggest that either party is permitted to opt out mid-way, which will be 2015. It is highly likely that Yahoo will opt out of the deal in 2015.
Search ads are one of the key areas of contribution to Yahoo's revenue. In Q4 2013, search ads accounted for over one third of Yahoo's revenue and also grew 8 percent to $461 million during the quarter. Yahoo also claimed around 10.8 percent of the entire search market. Undoubtedly, Google had the biggest chunk of the market share with 67.3 percent, followed by Microsoft, which controlled 18.2 percent of the market share.
Yahoo seems to be developing its search capabilities and focusing on improving user experience. In 2013, Mayer promoted Yahoo veteran Laurie Mann to head a group that will aim at developing search technology for the company. Mayer once led search at Google and was involved in an attempt to acquire Yelp for Google in 2009 for at least $500 million. However, the deal never materialized.
Recently, rumors also made rounds that Yahoo is exploring ways to beef up its search capabilities and have launched two projects codenamed "Fast Break" and "Curveball" that are aimed to help the company get a foothold in the search engine market. "...Mayer has put a priority on the projects - a three- to four-month time frame - which could eventually result in a full search engine, possibly more oriented to mobile than the desktop, where Yahoo once played big," Re/code's Kara Swisher said.