Yahoo reworks Bing deal to keep hand in search

Bing there, done that, got the ad revenue: Marissa Mayer wants Yahoo to take back its search functionality


Yahoo is breaking up its exclusive partnership to outsource search to Microsoft, in a bid to re-engage with the technology.

CEO Marissa Mayer has rewritten the terms of her firm's contract with Redmond, which for the last five years has seen all Yahoo search queries carried out by Microsoft's Bing engine, with Yahoo taking the bulk of ad revenue in return.

But now Yahoo can do what it likes with 49 per cent of its search enquiries, with Microsoft still carrying out the remaining 51 per cent.

Satya Nadella's company benefits too, by becoming the single advertising partner for all search results provided to Yahoo by Bing.

Mayer said: "Over the past few months, Satya and I have worked closely together to establish a revised search agreement that allows us to enhance our user experience and innovate more in our search business.

"This renewed agreement opens up significant opportunities in our partnership that I'm very excited to explore."

Yahoo will be able to tweak the search experience it provides on any platform, as the revamped partnership, covering desktop and mobile search, is non-exclusive.

That means the tech giant could send some search enquiries out to Google, but Yahoo might want to redevelop its own expertise in the field, too.

It marks a huge change from the previous shape of the partnership with Microsoft, signed by ex-Redmond boss Steve Ballmer and former Yahoo chief Carol Bartz in 2009.

The deal saw Microsoft pay Yahoo 88 per cent of the ad revenue it made from ads displayed alongside the Bing results Yahoo would present users with.

The original agreement would have seen this rise to 90 per cent for the remaining five years of the deal, but Mayer has chosen to take a different tack presumably to keep Yahoo's hand in the search business.

However, Microsoft doesn't seem too unhappy with the reworked agreement.

Nadella said in a statement: "Our global partnership with Yahoo has benefited our shared customers over the past five years and I look forward to building on what we've already accomplished together.

"Our partnership with Yahoo is one example of the diverse partnerships we'll continue to cultivate in order to have the greatest impact for our customers."

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