Yahoo‘s efforts to reinvent its search reportedly have some grand ambitions.
CEO Marissa Mayer wants to supplant Google as Apple’s default search on mobile products, according to a report from Re/code.
If successful, the arrangement would prove a coup for Yahoo and drastically change the company’s share of the search market, particularly in the rapidly growing mobile segment.
Mobile search is not only growing, it is moving away from desktop. If Yahoo were able to convince Apple to use its mobile search, it would grow its declining search share to the detriment of desktop competitors.
Mobile search is a particularly important area for Yahoo, as its desktop search is handcuffed by a deal with Microsoft that predates Mayer’s time at the company. Yahoo’s desktop search is powered by Microsoft’s Bing, a deal that provides Yahoo with revenue but has reportedly been disappointing to Mayer. The deal is scheduled to run through 2019.
The report lines up with numerous recent moves by Yahoo to bolster its mobile and contextual search technology, as well as public comments from Mayer.
A recent partnership with Yelp provides a wealth of local business data that tends to be popular for people searching on mobile devices. Yahoo also has taken steps to develop Siri-like software that will also factor in various clues like a person’s location or time of day to generate better search results.
Mayer in February said the company is “long” on search, adding “When I look at things like contextual search, I get really excited.”