Yahoo reportedly announced partnership with online urban guide operator and business review site, Yelp to deliver local business details in its search experience. Yelp reviews, ratings, photos and business information have begun to appear in Yahoo’s search results in the U.S.
Financial terms of the partnership weren’t disclosed, but news of the partnership first leaked last month. Searching Yahoo for information about a specific city, restaurant or other business will now yield reviews, location information, photos and star ratings on the right hand panel of the search engine. The listings will also appear within Yahoo maps for desktop, smartphone and tablet users in the United States. In the fourth quarter of 2013, Yelp had a monthly average of 120 million unique visitors. Towards the end of 2013, there were nearly 53 million reviews that were posted on the site and more than 60% of those reviews had four stars and above, proof that millions of people still turn to the site for information. Last year, Yelp’s revenue totalled to $233 million, a 69 percent increase from previous year. Yahoo is no longer synonymous for web search, the Internet pioneer is aiming to correct the decline in the query market. Providing users with a better search experience is one of the highly listed priority task for current CEO Marissa Mayer. That knowledge can then be used to sell better targeted advertising. Yahoo portrayed the move will enable more people to rely on its search engine when they’re looking for information, but it was also viewed as part of a game plan to better target profit making ads. Besides, Yelp also stands to benefit from increased traffic and could generate more revenues, as well as polish its brand by having its data featured on Yahoo’s search results. Currently Yahoo ranks a distant third in Internet search ecosystem, behind Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp.’s Bing. Now neither of the two search engines will be able to highlight Yelp’s snippets in the same manner that Yahoo can. Yahoo's search market share began to slump after the Sunnyvale, California company started relying on Microsoft technology to produce most of its search results in 2010, but since the last couple of years the numbers have been looking better. Last year Yahoo’s search revenue rose 6 percent to $1.7 billion. The partnership still gives Yahoo the flexibility to provide other features to its search results. Whether all of this will actually lead to growth in traffic and revenue for Yahoo, remains to be seen.