“According to numerous sources inside Yahoo, CEO Marissa Mayer has ordered up two under-the-radar initiatives — well, not to me and now you! — that could potentially get the company back into algorithmic search as well as search advertising,” Kara Swisher reports for Re/code. “The internal code names for the efforts — which are not actually being done together, though they are in tandem — are borrowed from sports. In this case, basketball and baseball: Projects Fast Break and Curveball, respectively.”
“Sources said the plan is being done as part of a contemplation of how Yahoo can accelerate the end of — or actually end — its longterm search and advertising partnership with Microsoft. Currently, Yahoo only has control over the search experience, but Mayer clearly wants more purview over the business,” Swisher reports. “Sources said 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.”
“Former CEO Carol Bartz got Yahoo out of the search technology business in 2009, in favor of the Microsoft deal that was called the Yahoo & Microsoft Search Alliance. Under the 10-year agreement, Microsoft’s Bing search engine provides the search technology on Yahoo, as well as the search-advertising technology,” Swisher reports. “That puts Yahoo in a vulnerable position in terms of controlling its destiny, and it has been an issue with Mayer for a while, who has tried various legal means to exit some of its search commitments with Microsoft.”
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