Yahoo Still Competing with Microsoft Despite Search Deal
Competition between Yahoo and Microsoft hasn't ended with the 10-year search deal the companies agreed on last month. In fact, Yahoo is making changes to compete better in the search market, even against the software giant powering its search.
Yahoo is testing a new search feature focused on making search more personal, according to the company.
Yahoo executives say they are still competing in the search market despite the agreement with Microsoft for its search engine Bing to power Yahoo searches and sell keywords through AdCenter. Yahoo, however, will have the exclusive worldwide sales force for both Yahoo and Microsoft's premium search advertisers.
The new search features, which include a filtering option and additional search assistance, are still being tested. The test is being conducted randomly to millions of worldwide users, according to Yahoo.
New Deal, New Design
One of Yahoo's major search updates includes new tools for a user to refine search results. The filtering will display results from Yahoo and third-party sites and will narrow results by content, including videos, people and discussion boards.
To give users a more personal experience, Yahoo is testing a search-results tool that utilizes a user's earlier searches to come up with the best result. The technology detects the user's intent by recording search behavior over time.
Protecting users from viruses and spam is also part of Yahoo's new effort to compete. Yahoo is testing a new site that gives users access to Search Scan and Safe Search, tools that help users fight off spyware and viruses.
Another planned search perk includes a real-time suggestion engine dubbed Search Assist. The tool is introduced in the search box on each Yahoo page in the U.S. with a new universal header. The header provides links to popular Yahoo pages such as Finance, News, Sports, Mail and My Yahoo.
Bing Bang Boom
It's no secret that Bing has made an impression on the market. A short time after Microsoft first introduced Bing, the decision engine began stealing market share from Yahoo and Google, and continues to do so.
Statistics for August show Google had 77.51 percent of the U.S. market, Bing 9.87 percent, and Yahoo 10.61 percent, according to StatCounter. While both Yahoo and Google still have a higher percentage of the market, Bing is the only one increasing its market share, while Yahoo and Google have seen a dip in their shares.
Together, however, Microsoft and Yahoo are an even greater force, now handling about 28 percent of the world's searches compared to Google's 65 percent, according to Gartner analyst Allen Weiner.
While Yahoo begins its search redesign and says it is still a competitor in the search market, only time will tell how much Microsoft's influence will affect Yahoo.