February 10, 2014
Yahoo Enlists The Help Of Yelp For Local Search Enhancement
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe OnlineWall Street Journal reports.
The new partnership was discussed at a Yahoo! employee meeting on Friday, according to WSJ. The paper learned of the deal from a person who attended the meeting. Neither Yahoo! nor Yelp would comment on the deal at this point.
Content from Yelp is expected to enhance Yahoo!'s local content, which will make the search engine more competitive with Google and Microsoft's Bing. Local is one area where search engines can provide valuable information, as well as sell ads to local businesses. Yelp adds reviews of local businesses such as restaurants, mechanics, bars and other nearby services.
Local search is crucial to search engines, which makes partnerships such as these important for the success of both companies involved.
"Data about local businesses has become an important part of search engines and other online services as consumers rely on smartphones to navigate the physical world. Microsoft recently struck a deal with mobile check-in software maker Foursquare; Yelp has previously done similar content partnerships with Microsoft and Apple, which shows local business listings, reviews and photos on its mobile mapping software," the WSJ article stated.
Yahoo! has experienced two consecutive quarters where the company has reported a decline in revenue, VentureBeat reports.
"And while ad revenue may have dropped, Yahoo did actually report an eight percent bump in search revenue thanks to several new partnerships the company made over the last year," VentureBeat's Tom Cheredar wrote.
Adding Yelp to Yahoo!'s partnerships could continue the growth trend, and help increase the search engine's revenues.
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer has forged several partnerships and revamped Yahoo! services since taking over the company in 2012. Yelp will be the latest deal, and one that Mayer hopes will close the gap between Yahoo! and its competitors: Microsoft and Google.
One of Yahoo!'s partnerships is actually with Microsoft, which provides search results. "While Yahoo gets its main search technology through a multiyear agreement with Microsoft, it provides its own features and interface to tailor services for visitors. Yelp supplies consumer-generated data in the US, Europe and Asia on businesses including restaurants," wrote Bloomberg's Brian Womack.
In a previous deal, Yelp provided reviews and ratings data to Google, though that deal ended badly.
"Google's partnership with Yelp soured when Google neglected to cite Yelp when presenting ratings/review data within its search results. Google has since purchased review service Zagat, which isn't nearly as popular as Yelp," VentureBeat's Cheredar wrote.
Search ad revenues rose eight percent to $461 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, the WSJ article reported, citing a comScore report.