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What’s Going on With Yahoo?

Yahoo Search Developments
Photo credit: Flickr

Yahoo, the owner of the third largest search engine in the U.S., behind Bing and Google, is not doing so hot.

Faced with the reality that nearly everything they do is also done by Google, but for cheaper and yet arguably done better, Yahoo is undergoing a massive internal overhaul that will likely drastically change the face of the company. This includes massive layoffs and asset selling, amidst the company losing a third of its stock value in the past year. Depending on how Yahoo alters its services will determine how the search engine market will be affected.

Yahoo Search is Still a Player in the U.S. Search Engine Field, Though It’s Becoming a Minor One

Currently, Yahoo Search sits in third place in the search engine market, accounting for 12.5% of the market share. This is a far cry from industry leader, Google, who takes 63.9% of the market, and Bing, at 20.9%. Even more worrying for Yahoo has been Bing’s recent growth, which has been slowly eating into Google’s dominance – something thought impossible even a few years ago. Bing’s recent surge has left Yahoo in the dust, pushing it into the fringes of relevancy in the search engine field.

Recent Struggles Have Made Yahoo Start to Cut

Yahoo’s struggles are not new. However, it combated its early woes with renewed vigor. Only recently has it changed its tactics to the more traditional one of shedding workers and poorly-performing ventures and assets. CEO Marissa Mayer will soon reveal the cost-cutting plans that will trim Yahoo into what is hoped to be a more profitable business. The plans, however, are said to include slashing 1,600 jobs, amounting to 15% of Yahoo’s workforce.

Cuts Might Impact Yahoo Search

Depending on what gets cut, Yahoo Search might be affected. While a distant third in the market share, Yahoo Search is still far from a non-player amongst search engines, making it an attractive chip for Yahoo to sell. Verizon has already said that it would be interested in taking over Yahoo’s businesses, including Yahoo Search.

Potential Shakeup in the Search Engine Field

A sale of Yahoo Search would create a significant shakeup in the industry. If either Bing or Google were to swoop in and pick up Yahoo, it would drastically impact the market share: It would either return things to the near Google monopoly that they once were, or would create a highly competitive landscape. However, such a takeover would likely implicate antitrust laws, raising a level of complexity and risk that might thwart such a deal.

More likely is Yahoo Search being dealt to a third party. The new player would have an interesting opportunity to lead a darkhorse candidate in such a high stakes game, and force them to get innovative to compete.

This is all, of course, pure speculation. Nevertheless, we’re watching the developments closely because any change in the search engine landscape is something we care about. Follow Myers Freelance on Google+ and Twitter, and like us on Facebook for more news.