Yesterday I got a chance to debrief with two leaders of Yahoo’s search team (yes, I know how that sounds given the Bing deal, but bear with me here). Late last week Yahoo announced its intentions with regard to continuing its innovation in search, and I had noted the irony of such an announcement.
I think most of the industry has written off Yahoo as a search player, and for some good reason. It’s true the company has abandoned two key pieces of the search puzzle – indexing and search monetization. But it’s also true, as I noted in my coverage of the deal, that Yahoo is retaining its right to control the user interface to search, and it’s clear that’s what the company is now focusing on.
What I find fascinating about this is how clearly it positions Yahoo to compete, directly, with its partner Microsoft and Bing. More on this later today.