Mon, Feb 10, 2014 - Page 15 News List

Yahoo may partner with Yelp to attract customers

BIG GAP:Yahoo’s search market share dropped to less than 11 percent last year, while Google has 67 percent and Microsoft 18 percent, an analyst said


Yahoo Inc will form a partnership with reviews provider Yelp Inc to bolster search results and draw users, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

The US’ biggest Web portal will offer Yelp’s ratings of local merchants, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The companies plan to offer the service within weeks, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing an unnamed person who attended a Yahoo employee meeting.

Yahoo chief executive officer Marissa Mayer is seeking content and features to attract and keep users as it tries to close the gap with Microsoft Corp and Google Inc. The Sunnyvale, California-based company’s share of the search market has dropped by about a half since 2008 to less than 11 percent in December last year, compared with 18 percent for Microsoft and 67 percent for Google, according to ComScore Inc.

Both Sara Gorman, a spokeswoman for Yahoo, and Yelp spokesman Vince Sollitto declined to comment.

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.

Yahoo’s first-quarter sales, excluding revenue passed to partner sites, will be US$1.06 billion to US$1.1 billion, the company said last month. The middle of that range would represent growth of less than 1 percent from US$1.07 billion a year earlier.

Yelp is forecasting full-year net revenue of US$353 million to US$358 million, or about 53 percent growth. It has also made deals with Microsoft and Apple Inc to display information on their services.

While Yahoo’s shares have declined 7.9 percent this year, San Francisco-based Yelp has climbed about 30 percent.

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