Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), once the world’s largest online search engine, is trying to get back in the search game.
Reportedly, Yahoo! is set to partner with Yelp, Inc. (YELP) in order to enhance its local search results and attract more users. However, both the parties declined to comment on the development.
Yelp, a U.S.-based company, is an online guide and a business review site. It was founded in 2004 to help people locate local businesses, events and lists through a search tool provided on the company’s website. In addition, visitors can access business reviews for organizations that offer specific types of products and services in their area. Yelp is available on Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPhone, BlackBerry (BBRY) and Android phones.
As per a multi-year agreement, Yahoo!’s main search technology provider is Microsoft Corp. (MSFT). The technology is integrated with Yahoo!’s own features and interface.
Yelp provides consumer-generated data on small businesses in the US, Europe and Asia. With this partnership Yahoo! will combine its key search results with the review site’s listings and reviews of local businesses. The move can help improve traffic to Yahoo Local, which is not currently very popular. It could also generate additional advertising revenue.
The deal is similar to the one that Yelp already has with Microsoft where the company’s search results are often accompanied with reviews from Yelp.
Yahoo! is focused on improving its search business and is putting all its efforts into retaining and adding to its user base. This would play an important role in bringing back advertisers as well.
However, failure to protect user information could hurt its reputation and credibility, thus slowing down financial growth going forward.
Currently Yahoo! holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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