Yahoo’s Local Focus: Offers, Sketch-A-Search & Restaurant Search Upgrades Coming Soon

In conjunction with an appearance at the Web 2.0 Summit today, Yahoo made several announcements of new products with a local focus. Here's a look at what Yahoo is rolling out now and planning to introduce down the road. Yahoo Local Offers Deals and coupons are a pretty hot item these days in the local space; credit Groupon and others for that. Yahoo announced its horse in the deals race: Yahoo Local Offers. It's an aggregator that "will make it easy for millions of consumers to find, right on Yahoo!, the best local deals and savings in their area." Groupon, in fact, is one of the ini [...]

Yahoo Expands Mobile Search Results Display

Users of Yahoo's mobile web search site ( on smartphones should notice new enhancements and expanded search results the next time they search using certain types of queries. Yahoo has announced changes to how it shows search results for local business listings, entertainment, stocks, videos, and images on smartphones. Yahoo says it's "pulling more essential information from the web, and employing the latest HTML5 technology to help you easily browse the content you're interested in." A search for Brett Favre, for example, shows how the search results have expanded. [...]

Bartz: ‘Creepy’ Facebook Could Be Yahoo’s Top Competitor

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz says Facebook has a "creepy" amount of personal information about its users, and could become Yahoo's number one competitor because of the value of that data. Her comments came about 10 days ago at the USA Today CEO Forum in Atlanta, and have just been published today on the paper's website. When the conversation focused on social media, Bartz had this exchange with USA Today's David Lieberman: Q: Who's your biggest single competitor? A: Facebook — not today, but they could be. If they keep going, they will have the vault of information on everybody in the worl [...]

Yahoo Rolling Out New “Accordion” Search & Other Features

Yahoo is launching a number of search enhancements this evening that start to deliver on the UI innovation that the company has been promising since the Microsoft search deal was announced. It's part of Yahoo's bid to remain relevant in search by spicing up the user experience and trying to bring more utility to page one. Many of these new features were previewed at the recent "Runway" event last month. The two biggest changes or enhancements that users will immediately notice involve image search and a new "accordion" module at the top of search results (though it doesn't always appear). [...]

Yahoo-Bing Mobile Search Transition To Happen At Same Time As Online, Ads To Be Handled By Same Teams

Microsoft and Yahoo have deferred talk of mobile advertising in previous discussions about the search transition. But now it has been made clear that mobile will transition at the same as the PC, and that the account teams will be the same for both segments. Here are the relevant FAQs from Microsoft Advertising's discussion of the transition: Q: Which account team will I work with on mobile search ads? A: Your mobile search ads will be managed by the same account team as your PC accounts. Q: How will Mobile search advertisers be transitioned? A: We are still finalizing our transition [...]

Yahoo Offers Android Search Widget, HTML5 Upgrades For iOS

Though late to the Android party Yahoo has released Search, Mail and Messenger for Android. I downloaded Mail and Messenger -- by using a 2d barcode scanner in my EVO off my iPad screen -- but was unable to open Search to test-drive it before writing this. (See postscript below.) Yahoo has also improved its mobile web experiences for the iPhone and iPod Touch via HTML5. Users can add Yahoo search to the home screen (as an Android Widget). It's also voice-enabled. It's not clear to me whether that voice search capability is provided by partner Vlingo (in which Yahoo is an investor) or [...]

Bing & Yahoo Prompting iPhone Users To Switch Search Engines

We knew that Bing was added as an option in the default search engines used on the new Apple iPhone iOS4. But if you try to searching on either Bing or Yahoo when your default search provider is Google, both will prompt you to switch to their own search engine. Not only will you be asked to switch, if you click okay, the switch will happen easily and automatically. Changing search providers on normal browser toolbars is not this easy, but on the iPhone, it can happen without a user really thinking about it. Go to on your iPhone using iOS4. Note, I personally tested this on [...]

Yahoo Acquires The Foursquare-Like Koprol

Yahoo announced that it has acquired an Indonesian site called Koprol. Think of it as a kind of cross between Twitter and Foursquare, with more emphasis on the latter. (Yahoo had been rumored to be in talks to buy Foursquare. This move may reflect its inability to close that deal.) It touches local, mobile and social -- but it's mostly about mobile. Here's how Yahoo describes Koprol: Koprol allows people to connect and share photos, reviews and additional information about locations in real-time using just their mobile phone browser, making the service accessible to a large [...]

The Yahoo-Nokia Deal: Some Details & Perspective

Yahoo and Nokia made their anticipated partnership announcement this morning in New York. The public elements of the deal include the following: Nokia will be the exclusive, global provider of Yahoo!’s maps and navigation services, integrating Ovi Maps across Yahoo! properties, branded as "powered by Ovi." Yahoo! will become the exclusive, global provider of Nokia’s Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat services branded as "Ovi Mail / Ovi Chat powered by Yahoo!" Nokia and Yahoo! plan to work on ID federation between their services, beginning by making it easy for people to use their Ovi user [...]

Yahoo: Search Local Menus For “BLT” Or “Hamachi”

Yahoo is introducing a useful new capability in search and Yahoo Local: the ability to search for specific meals or menu items and find them at local bars and restaurants. Yahoo says it's extracting unstructured data from restaurant menus online and making them searchable: By using Yahoo!’s search science to extract structured content – in this case, menu items – from a bunch of different unstructured web pages and matching them to specific restaurants, Yahoo! Search now returns results of restaurants near you that serve the dish you crave when you enter the name of that dish in our s [...]

Yahoo, Samsung Announce Expanded Mobile Partnership

Yahoo announced this morning that its services will be pre-loaded on millions of Samsung phones worldwide. The new deal expands a relationship between the companies that began in 2007. Samsung is the second largest handset maker in the world, by unit sales, according to hardware tracking firm Gartner. Samsung is the third largest handset maker in the US but has a more limited presence in the all-important smartphone segment. According to the press release one or more of the following services will appear on Samsung handsets, including Bada (Samsung's OS) and Android phones: Yahoo! M [...]

Yahoo! Launches Search-Based iPhone Apps, Including Sketch-A-Search

When Yahoo and Microsoft announced their partnership to replace Yahoo organic search index with Bing's, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said that while Yahoo would no longer crawl and index the web, they would own the search experience and continue to innovate there. I was skeptical. There's only so much innovation a search engine can do without crawling the web directly. But Yahoo is trying to prove me wrong (key word in that sentence: trying; mostly through sensational press releases, but more on that in a minute). One way Yahoo has been focusing on new searcher experiences has been through mobile. Ya [...]

Yahoo Gains AT&T, Loses T-Mobile Search Deal

Earlier this week, we discovered that Yahoo would be the default search engine on AT&T's first Android handset, the Motorola Backflip. That's a first as far as I know, an Android device that doesn't present Google as the featured search engine. However, in the bad-news column for Yahoo, according to PaidContent, T-Mobile has now swapped it for Google as the default search engine on the T-Mobile portal. However it's no longer clear how valuable these portal deals are, as the market shifts to smartphones. Most of the mobile internet activity takes place on smartphones, though not entirely [...]

AT&T Picks Yahoo Over Google To Provide Search On First Android Phone

Yahoo has scored a spot as the default search engine on the new Motorola Backflip, AT&T's first phone using the Android operating system. The web site Android and Me quotes this hands-on report from Engadget: Yahoo has replaced Google as the default search provider throughout the phone. It's crazy: the home screen widget, the browser, everything's been programmed to use Yahoo. Indeed, a Yahoo spokesperson confirms for Search Engine Land that AT&T is using its search services on the Backflip: We are happy that AT&T has chosen Yahoo! Search as the default mobile search service on the Mo [...]

Yahoo To Broadly Integrate Twitter Across Properties

Earlier this evening Yahoo announced that it had deepened its relationship with Twitter and would be integrating Twitter's feeds and content across its network: The partnership integrates Twitter’s real-time social experiences with Yahoo!’s global network of nearly 600M people. Together with the recently announced Facebook integration, this relationship is a key part of advancing Yahoo!’s social strategy, transforming it into a highly customizable social experience that lets people unify their activity from their many social experiences across the Web. The integration also provides Y [...]

Google Tweaks Mobile Search, Adds Olympics Onebox, Yahoo Offers Dedicated Mobile Olympics Site

Google has made some subtle changes to its mobile homepage and searchbox. As the Google Mobile Blog explains: The Google logo has been moved up to the top of the search results page, allowing us to increase the width and height of the search box. You can now more easily touch the larger box to enter a new search, the new big bold font makes it easier to see what you have entered, and the wider box helps you see more characters at once . . . We have also given our homepage some love. While this got the bigger search box last month, we have created a new search button beside the search box rat [...]

More Haiti Disaster Relief Resources

Google, Yahoo and Bing, among many others, are offering cash donations and resources to assist with disaster relief in Haiti. Here's our earlier coverage of  online resources. You can also find images of post Earthquake Haiti from Bing Maps and Google. Google has a full-blown disaster relief center with a wide range of updates, free Google Voice calls and places to donate money. There's also a "person finder" microsite to enable family members or friends to request information and others with knowledge of whereabouts or details to provide it. Mobile/SMS donations have now surpassed [...]

With Mobile Ad Networks Being Snapped Up By Google And Apple Will Yahoo Or Microsoft Be The Next To Buy?

In November, Google surprised many when it announced that it was buying mobile ad network AdMob for a massive $750 million in stock, bringing mobile advertising suddenly into the consciousness of people who'd simply not paid attention before: "Hey, maybe this thing IS for real." Now Apple is reportedly buying another tier one mobile ad network, Quattro Wireless, for $275 million. That immediately raises the question: What will Yahoo and Microsoft Do? Yahoo already is a top mobile ad network and so is Microsoft -- in both traffic and estimated revenues. Both rank in the top five in terms [...]

Year In Review: Search Goes Mobile

The iPhone was introduced on June 29, 2007 and that was effectively the beginning of the mobile internet era. With the iPhone also came the acceleration of mobile search for Google, the default engine for the iconic Apple device. This year mobile became a cornerstone of Google's strategy with a string of announcements, product tweaks and the $750 million AdMob acquisition announcement (now under FTC scrutiny). The aborted $500+ million Yelp acquisition was also partly about mobile as well. The big mobile story of 2009, however, is the rise of smartphone adoption and in particular the iPh [...]

Will Mobile Drive Growth For Yahoo?

Yahoo EVP Hilary Schneider told the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York that Yahoo was seeing "incredible . . . extraordinary" growth in mobile (she means usage primarily). The company, by several metrics, is one of the largest in mobile. It operates one of the top three mobile ad networks in the US and enjoys a massive global, mobile footprint. But the question is: will Yahoo be able to keep up in mobile over time? Among the big internet companies Yahoo has been the leader in mobile advertising to date. However Google recently bought both AdMob (in a highly publicized announcement) an [...]

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