Will Yahoo, Facebook Consider A Search Alliance?

Are Yahoo and Facebook in talks about forming a search alliance, or building a search engine together?

Yes, reports The Sunday Telegraph, citing sources. “Marissa Mayer, chief executive of Yahoo, has held discussions with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, about how the two companies can work more closely together."

Not true (!), reports Kara Swisher in AllThingsD, citing her own scoffing sources. “Yahoo is not anywhere near ending its search partnership with Microsoft,” she writes. “It would be nearly impossible for Yahoo to extricate itself from the long-term contract easily.”

Not sure which report to believe, Gizmodo admits: “Ever since Mayer took the helm at Yahoo, the company has been taking a bit of a turn towards search, and by teaming up with Facebook, it may be able to get itself back into the game full time.”

What’s more, “a partnership with Facebook could get Yahoo the kind of traffic it needs to work on its algorithm, and Facebook has been expressing interesting in getting into search for a while now.”

Writing in Search Engine Land, however, Danny Sullivan lists of number of reasons why a deal between Facebook and Yahoo is not likely imminent. “There’s nothing Yahoo brings to the table that Facebook doesn’t already get with Bing,” he insists. “Bing has far more search talent than Yahoo. It has far better search technology than Yahoo.”

“That said, Mayer and Sandberg are former colleagues at Google and understand what search can do to super-charge a business,” CNet writes. “Mayer is looking for ways to revive Yahoo's products and engineering focus since she took the CEO job in July.”

Meanwhile, “Yahoo has stated that it will become a company that is consumed with mobile work,” The Next Web notes. “Facebook too has invested heavily to remake its mobile applications.”

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