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Yahoo Teams up With Yelp for Local Search Enhancements

HiResYahoo has announced a partnership with Yelp to boost its local search service. Soon, Yahoo will start showing Yelp’s listings and reviews of local businesses as you access Yahoo Local. The changes should roll out in the coming weeks.

Why the move to enhance local search? Yahoo was a dominant player in its industry until things went awry. Users moved to other sites and services, and the company lost a large share of the market. So, Yahoo hired Marissa Mayer, formerly head of Google’s search division, to turn that downward spiral around.

When she joined Yahoo in 2012, Mayer ordered a complete overhaul of Flickr and a home-page redesign. Then, she acquired two upwardly mobile companies, Tumblr (a blogging platform) and Summly (a story-condenser). These changes may hint at the new direction she sees.

This latest Yahoo-to-Yelp combination is yet another step to enhance the formerly jaded service. These days, it claims about 10.8 percent of the search market (compared to Google’s 67.3 percent). The road to recovery is long, but pundits suggest that this latest move may also boost the search ad revenues that constitute roughly one-third of Yahoo’s yearly earnings.

For mobile users, this partnership means a that a Yahoo search will lead to Yelp and display local business listings, pictures and reviews by employing mobile mapping software at the same time.

No details of the Yahoo-Yelp agreement are readily available, but stocks are already responding. When last checked, Yelp was trading at 3.7 percent higher than before the announcement. Yahoo’s stock has risen about 1.15 percent.