Should Apple Replace Google Search With Yahoo On iPhones And iPads?

By: Chris Crum - April 17, 2014

Rumor has it that Yahoo is focused on trying to convince Apple to switch the default search experience on iOS to Yahoo rather than Google.

Would you like to see this happen? Let us know in the comments.

Kara Swisher at Re/code, who frequently reports on chatter from within Yahoo, has sources who say CEO Marissa Mayer and SVP of mobile and emerging products Adam Cahan are leading an “aggressive effort” to convince Apple to do just that. Swisher writes:

A number of Yahoo insiders I have talked to said her plan to pitch Apple on the idea as its marquee mobile search partner is far along. The company has prepared detailed decks, including images of what such a search product would look like, and hopes to present them to Apple execs.

That has not happened as yet officially and no deal is imminent — it’s just the big honking goal of the new Yahoo effort, said sources. Still, several said Mayer has already buttonholed a few Apple executives on the topic, including its powerful SVP of design, Jony Ive, who knows the former Google exec well.

It’s worth noting that Yahoo already provides default data for the iPhone’s weather and stocks apps, and Apple has tried to distance itself from Google reliance in the past. I probably don’t have to remind you about the time they dropped Google Maps in favor of their own maps product (with less than ideal results).

Google is said to pay over a billion a year to Apple, but Yahoo has hardly been shy about throwing money around since Mayer took over. The company has pretty much been on a non-stop acquisition quest.

Still, it could be hard for Yahoo to make a legitimate case to Apple when its own search product is powered by Bing, though Mayer is apparently determined to get away from that too.

Danny Sullivan, who has been covering search for eighteen years now, doesn’t see it happening.

“The biggest challenge Yahoo has is that it lacks any solid search technology. Sure, Yahoo has some for very specialized things,” he writes. “But the core technology to sift through billions of pages across the web and ferret out relevant results? Yahoo gave all that up as part of its deal with Microsoft years ago.”

Mayer is said to hate the Microsoft partnership, and Swisher has reported in the past that she has the company working on two secret projects that would help it become more independent. The code names are “Fast Break” and “Curveball,” and they “could potentially get the company back into algorithmic search as well as search advertising,” the report said.

Yahoo has also recently switched over to Yelp listings for its local search reviews, which could sit better with Apple than Yahoo’s previous offering (even if it doesn’t with business owners) Local search is, of course, very important to the mobile experience.

Yahoo released its Q1 earnings report this week, with revenue up 1% year-over-year. Search revenue was up 5% at $445 million. Ex-TAC, it was up 9%. It was actually Yahoo’s ninth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth in search revenue ex-TAC. Paid Clicks increased by 6 percent compared to the first quarter of 2013, and price-per-click increased approximately 8 percent compared to the first quarter of 2013.

As Yahoo likes to show with acquisition after acquisition, it has pretty deep pockets. So does Google though, and it’s not going to just sit idly by.

If Yahoo wants to really be taken seriously again in search, however, the kind of exposure being the default option on iOS would be a good start. You can say what you want about Yahoo’s search technology, but in the end is the average user even thinking about it? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean Apple isn’t.

Would you like to see Yahoo become the default search on iOS? Would you switch it? Let us know in the comments.

Image via Tumblr

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

View all posts by Chris Crum
  • http://bamajr.com/ bamajr

    I hardly think Apple’s going to bed any company, with a bad case of the Micro$lop STD. If Yahoo wants Apple to default to them, Bing will have to be cured, first. As with many STD’s, Bing will likely be hard for Yahoo to get rid of.

  • http://seanpratt.info/ Sean P. Pratt

    Yahoo is buggy and fraught with viruses. I hope Apple does its due diligence.

    • Mark Rich

      Google search is rubbish. All you get on the first few pages is BBC, Daily Mail, Wickapedia etc etc and not what you are searching for. Yahoo is great to find what you are looking for. I have NEVER had a virus from Yahoo. Most if us have virus protection nowadays anyway.

      • http://seanpratt.info/ Sean P. Pratt

        Google search is rubbish. I fully agree with that. But Yahoo has plenty of flaws as well. Yahoo Messenger is complete rubbish. I have virus protection too, Yahoo has plenty of buggy apps and viruses. All the spammers invite you to Yahoo Messenger accounts. Think about that implication too.

      • http://www.bloketoys.co.uk/ BlokeToys.co.uk

        This is the problem, Google became far too greedy. The search results it offers (specifically on product searches) is designed to force the searcher to their own product market place.

        The reason there is so much trash in the first page of Google is not about improving search, it’s about annoying people enough that they click over to shopping instead, giving Google a bigger chunk of revenue.

        Think about it, if someone is searching for 42″ widescreen Sony TV, and they get a Wiki page, a BBC article, three tech blog posts and a list of YouTube videos they are going to either click on an ad selling the product or click through to Google shopping. This is deliberate and calculated.

  • William MATAR

    I have a large experience. Google is far better.. no time to explain now.

  • kirker99

    Doesn’t matter which is better, anything that helps put pressure on
    Google’s monopoly is a very good thing. Google must be stopped! They built their business of the backs of content providers, and because they had the best search product no-one cared they dominated search. It was a great product, good for the consumer, and also good for the content provider. But now…. they are giving content providers a big F.U. Small content providers, with good quality, locally relevant, and interesting content don’t stand a chance. SEO has become impossible for anyone except the experts, and even they can’t keep up with Google’s constant changes. On top of that, they are aggressively making moves to dominate in the area of content provision too. It just isn’t right that a Google Map should show before the companies own website, or that a definition provided by Google shows ahead of a dictionary or wikipedia, where Google scraped the content from in the first place. They are very clearly trying to monopolize it all because “Search” + “Content” = “Revenue Domination”. I for one favor anything, and any company, that gets in their way and helps to keep them honest.

  • http://www.bloketoys.co.uk/ BlokeToys.co.uk

    This would be a great move for Apple, not least because of the growing distrust with Google over the NSA.

    It should be noted that Yahoo was seemingly the ONLY company that actively fought the NSA in sweeping data gathering and intrusion, all the other big names pretty much asked for the lube and bent over.

    It would be good for promoting diversity in content, competition in a market that is almost criminally dominated by Google, and webmaster support.

    I hope Apple makes the right decision here, but I fear that Google has become far too powerful and Apple might continue with it solely because it’s the global leader.

    Come on Apple, you know it makes sense to increase diversity, not only for Apple but in the interests of global internet business!

  • Bob

    Absolutely!

  • http://www.dirtworks.nethttp://www.newenglandnatural.com Dirt Works

    In the long run nothing matters so long as the one statement in this article remains a factor in company business decisions and it’s a flaw in the capitalist economic model used in all corporate think tanks these days. (How do we get more by delivering less at the same time) One of the things given as a strength for Yahoo is that the cost per click has gone up and contributed to the over all health of the company. The flaw is similar to what health insurance companies were doing before the ACA came along. Their prices and restrictions on who could get insurance was shrinking the base who could participate in the insurance market. It was doomed to fail and even they knew it. despite all their protestations they knew the ACA would save them, driving more customers into their arms and driving up revenue as a result. The rising cost of ppc drives more and more businesses out of the ppc market leaving only those who can hire a team of experts to sit around and find schemes to lower cost and keep up with all of the screwing around with algorithms that goes on and beat their competitors to the punch. In the long run this model will defeat capitalism as companies are forced to squeeze more and more out of fewer and fewer customers. Short term is looks great. Fewer customers to mange, higher profits etc but long term the users of the internet are being shorted as fewer and fewer business can participate and a competitive level and are forced to become local only and rely on organic search which is being beaten to death by the search engines too. This is a problem through out the economy. Companies are shrinking their customer base and squeezing the ones they have left for more and users/customers get less and less diversity in what they see. Another thing this leads to in the overall economy is with less and less competition customers are forced to buy more and more crap at higher prices because they have fewer choices and the companies that deliver this crap merchandise and services have no incentive to improve because the customer has no where else to go. Capitalism was meant to improve the customer experience and drive prices down. The economic model in play today delivers the opposite and so long as greedy, stupid CEO’s and share holders don’t see this our economy and that of the rest of the world is going to suck and the economy is going to get worse and worse until we’re all just slaves to the few corporations that are left. Just look at what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about whether Apple will get in bed with Google or Yahoo. Do you want cow manure with that sandwich or sheep shit? Neither one is very good but it’s all we have on the menue.

  • http://www.spainnewsinenglish.website/ Anne Sewell

    Yes yes yes, let’s spread search to other search engines besides the Great God Googs…. maybe some of us smaller site owners will have a hope then.

  • Emmett Yaksich

    I can provide one very good reason why Apple should stay far away from this…Yahoo recently partnered up with Yelp, replacing Yahoo local business search results with Yelp business search results. What most people do not know is that Yelp is operating illegally, involved in several law suits, and uses extortion to get businesses to sign up with Yelp. They filter positive reviews and cold call businesses using a sales pitch that hints to the business owner that their positive reviews will show up if they pay for a Yelp monthly advertising plan that typically costs from $900 and up. Business owners are also finding out that Yelp is hiring people to post false negative reviews in order to support this crooked business model. If Apple begins using Yahoo, they are basically signing up to support Yelp. If this happens, I will surely start using less Apple products. I do not support Yahoo, Yelp or any other Internet crooks.

  • http://www.vitamininjectables.com jcolson1027

    Yeah yahoo, try your hardest to board the sinking ship known as the iPhone.

  • http://www.vioflix.com/ Einar Bragason

    Google search is just a money sucking machine… Use Bing!

  • Mark

    Yes, they absolutely should. Google made a decision to trash its search engine, and thus it is the worst among the major ones.

    Webmasters are well aware of this, because we can see in our Google profiles that Google shows non-existent pages from long-dead domains as somehow linking to our sites, and Penguin uses those egregiously bad data to filter the results. The outcome can only be bad, but Google does not care about the quality of its search results (else Google would clean up its link database).

    No informed person uses Google search. Unfortunately, “google it” is part of the lexicon so like good zombies most people wanting to search go to Google instead of to a good search engine. Please do NOT use “google” as a synonym for “search” and please DO correct people whenever they do that. Google does not deserve its place in search, so let’s work toward toppling Google from its perch. Google, after all, did not mind toppling hundreds of good Websites out of existence and thousands into obscurity.

    Anything that works against Google is a good thing. Until Google decides to take its “do no evil” slogan seriously, the company deserves all the bad PR we can generate against it.

  • Bozo

    I think this world be a very bad decision, does any body use yahoo these days?

  • http://www.mystatementofpurpose.com/ James Everhart

    A resounding “NO!”. First, there’s the practical issue that my site is higher up on Google than on Yahoo. Yahoo is not as effective at drawing traffic to my site. Google is a household name worldwide and surpassed Yahoo a decade ago for its effectiveness as a search engine.

  • http://www.aspireidea.net/ Aspire Idea

    The competition between Google and Yahoo is obvious and it is a never ending story. With Apple’s strength, both search companies are in a tough fight to win the preference. Yahoo may be at the lower end now, Mayer is sure to grab a larger search share with Apple in no time.

    • Taylor

      I personally would like to another search engine step up. Google used to be a great one and I loved them but these past few years it has sunk itself. I can never find what I am looking for anymore. I hope apple does work something out with yahoo. Apple has many loyal users to help bring a better search engine up to plate. I do not care if it is bing, yahoo or duckduckgo but google needs to either fall off or fix their results.

  • MC Squared

    PLEASE use Yahoo! I *despise* Google (even the name!) and the fact that they have been indicted for privacy invasion (they track you and store the date forever – both are illegal! That’s why I don’t search with my iPhone – if I had Yahoo, I *would*.

    • Kristian Padborg

      The name of a search engine is irrelevant.

      • MC Squared

        Of course – it’s a matter of taste. I can love yellow, yet despise blue. I wrote that I even despise the name (it’s baby-babble, by the way, coined in ~1939 by Martin Sciorso’s little nephew), although the name implies “infinity”, Google’s proven censoring would negate that premise, for obvious, and ironic reasons.

  • Dolce Vita

    Anything that chips away Google’s unwarranted number one spot for search is a good thing for everyone in the internet world.

  • Douglas Seese

    I don’t see how Apple could even begin to take this seriously. Google’s product is sound, without all the bugs. Indeed, Yahoo wants a big piece of the Apple pie, but with it’s ties to Bing and mention of separating that agreement, how would Apple handle the bumpy transition that is sure to take place? While Google has always been methodical in their business practices, Yahoo continues to flail about, hoping to latch onto something that will give it forward momentum rather than barely retaining it’s following. Ultimately, it would be a disaster waiting to happen if Apple were to accept that ludicrous proposal..IMHO!

  • Kristian Padborg

    That sounds awesome!

    It would be so raw if a new proprietary Yahoo! Search is better than Google Search and Bing to the extent that new Google was superior to Yahoo! when they appeared on the scene so many years back. :)

    Seems like Marissa is doing BIG things! I think I’m in love. She definitely has some kind of super SICK master plan. She’s uncanny.

    Marissa is awesome! Yahoo! is awesome!

    Google, Bing, Yahoo! Fighting it out. I love it.

    Three strong competitors in search = better search.

    Now we need three strong parties in American politics. :(

  • http://ridergreendemolition.com Demo

    Near any search engine is better than Google.