Yahoo’s search and advertising efforts have been partnered with software giant Microsoft since 2009. In the 10-year agreement (called the Yahoo & Microsoft Search Alliance), Yahoo agreed that its search and search-advertising technologies would be powered by Bing. Recently, however, Recode.net shared the news that Yahoo is working on two initiatives that may focus on how the corporation can break away from that partnership.
Yahoo’s “Fast Break” and “Curveball” initiatives (both named after sports terms) are being worked on simultaneously by some of the top executives at the company including the Senior Vice President of mobile and emerging products, the Senior Vice President of search products, and the Senior Vice President of platforms.
According to Recode.net, Yahoo’s share of search has been on the decline, which may mean the projects will result in a mobile-oriented search engine. Since Marissa Mayer took the position of CEO, she has been trying to end some of the company’s obligations to Microsoft and with a mobile search engine, Yahoo could re-make a name for itself in search and move away from its desktop-targeted efforts.
Mayer’s goal is to have “Fast Break” and “Curveball” completed in three or four months and if the predicted goals of these projects are correct, the names “Fast Break” and “Curveball” were appropriate choices: In basketball, a “fast break” is when the team attempts to score by charging up the court so fast that the defense doesn’t have time to stop them. In baseball, a “curveball” is a pitch that veers in another direction at the last minute and is used to confuse the batter.
So keep your ears open and your eyes peeled. You could be searching differently in the next few months.