As it has indicated numerous times in the past, Yahoo still takes search seriously, even if it’s outsourcing its system to Microsoft these days (we’ll see how long that lasts). But in recent months, since former Googler Marissa Mayer took over at the helm, we’ve seen a renewed focus, or at least heard about one.
In January, upon releasing the company’s Q4 earnings report, Mayer said, “Overall in search, it’s a key area of investment for us. We need to invest in a lot of interface improvements. All of the innovations in search are going to happen at the user interface level moving forward and we need to invest in those features both on the desktop and on mobile and I think both ultimately will be key plays for us.”
A new report out from Bloomberg indicates that Yahoo is planning on unveiling some new search products over the coming months. While nothing specific is mentioned (other than SVP of Search, Laurie Mann, indicating that they have “some really cool things in the pipeline”), it is said that some of the new stuff is being developed “in tandem” with Microsoft, while some of it will be uniquely Yahoo’s.
It’s been quite a while since Yahoo did anything really innovative in search, but let’s not forget (as I’m sure you haven’t) Mayer’s past. She was, after all, instrumental in the evolution of the Google we know today. Bloomberg quotes Mann:
“As someone who works with Marissa literally every day, there is nothing more important to her than getting search right. She knows search better than pretty much anyone in the industry.”
Mayer has expressed disappointment with its deal with Microsoft in recent months, but this week, news came out that Microsoft has extended its revenue guarantee to Yahoo, a guarantee it hasn’t done a great job of living up to in the past.