Yahoo jazzes up search results in attempt to stand out from Bing, bring in more ad revenueBy AP
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Yahoo revs up search results in turnaround quest
SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo Inc. is jazzing up its Internet search results in an effort to orchestrate a revenue revival.
The additional features were beginning to appear Thursday on Yahoo’s U.S. website.
The new tools are designed to get people to the information they seek more quickly, especially when searching about entertainment, sports and major events.
Some of these shortcuts have already been available on Yahoo, but now there will be even more options and snapshots featured in capsules appearing at the top of the results page.
More marketing messages, including the online billboards known as display ads, may also crop up on searches that appear to be spurred by a quest to buy merchandise.
Yahoo hopes to distinguish itself from its Internet search partner, Microsoft Corp.’s Bing, by making its own results more useful.
Although it’s relying on Microsoft for most of its search results to save money, Yahoo still has the ability to dip into its own bag of technological tricks.
Standing apart from Bing is important to Yahoo because it only gets a cut of ad revenue from searches that are done on its site. Yahoo keeps $88 of every $100 from search advertising clicked on its site, with the rest going to Microsoft. All the ad revenue from searches done on Bing goes to Microsoft.
Yahoo needs to do something different because its ad revenue from searches has been steadily declining. Through the first half of this year, Yahoo’s revenue from search ads totaled $674 million, an 11 percent drop from last year.
That erosion has contributed to financial funk that has battered its stock price and recently raised doubts about the turnaround plan drafted by Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, who took the job 21 months ago and negotiated the Microsoft alliance.
The partnership was spurred by the dominance of Google Inc., which has established itself as the Internet’s most powerful and prosperous company.
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