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Monday, February 10, 2014


This story first appeared in USA Today.

Yahoo is partnering with online review site Yelp to enhance its search results and attract users, according to several reports published over the weekend.

Citing an unnamed person who attended a Yahoo employee meeting Friday, The Wall Street Journal said CEO Marissa Mayer revealed plans to incorporate Yelp's local business listings, user-generated reviews and photos into Yahoo's search engine results. The new feature will be made available in the coming weeks, according to the Journal story.

The new partnership is part of Yahoo's initiative to distinguish itself from market leaders Microsoft Bing and Google. In December, Yahoo's share in the search market was 10.8%, compared to Micorsoft's 18.2% and Google's 67.3%, according to ComScore.

This year, Yahoo's shares have declined 7.9%, but San Francisco-based Yelp has climbed almost 30%.

The specific terms of the Yahoo-Yelp deal couldn't be determined. Bloomberg, MarketWatch and The Wall Street Journal reported that both Sara Gorman, a spokeswoman for Yahoo, and Yelp spokesman Vince Sollitto declined to comment.

However, Yelp has similar existing content partnerships with Microsoft and Apple.

Yahoo receives its primary search technology through a multi-year pact with Microsoft, under which Microsoft gets 12% of Yahoo's search ad-generated revenue. The Journal cited executives close to Mayer, who have described the deal as a disappointment.

In February 2013, Mayer promoted Yahoo veteran Laurie Mann to run Yahoo Search.

When she led search at Google, Mayer was involved in the company's attempt to acquire Yelp for at least $500 million in 2009.