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Watch Out Google: Yahoo and Facebook Discussing Search Deal

Sites include , . Published on November 19th, 2012. Written by Anthony West.

Facebook wants to enter search; Yahoo can’t seem to keep up in search, so it sort of makes sense for the two to have a partnership conversation. That conversion has started according to a report in The Sunday Telegraph.

Call it women’s solidarity but Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook’s COO apparently met to discuss ways in which the two companies could strengthen their relationship and possibly collaborate in search. The talks haven’t been confirmed by either parties but sources close to both companies have reported that board members on both sides are excited about the prospects.

Match made in Silicon Heaven

To say that a search partnership deal between Yahoo and Facebook would cause shock waves would be understating things. Recently when Facebook hinted it might be entering search, the company’s share price shot up on the anticipation; there was even talk of Google’s hegemony coming to an end. Yahoo by the same token would certainly be relevant again, having fallen behind Google and Microsoft.

Those analyzing the reported talks have all expressed tacit approval and the expectation that things might very well amount to much more than talk—something which seemed unthinkable 5 years ago. Yahoo and Facebook have certainly come a long way from the fiery and combative days of patent lawsuits; things are so good now that Facebook presently uses Yahoo News to deliver content to its users.

Still, it is clear that of the two Yahoo stands to gain the most from any potential partnership; Facebook after all, could easily ingrate it’s now native search engine into its platform—something it will have to do on some level if it’s to tap in Yahoo’s SERPS.

Does this mean the end of Yahoo/Bing partnership?

This question of course is the first one that many will ask of Yahoo if a deal is pursued with Facebook and in all likelihood, its existing partnership with Microsoft would come to an end. Yahoo recently publicly criticized Microsoft for including Do Not Track as default feature into the Internet Explorer 10, recently launched with Windows 8. This Yahoo felt undermined the existing search partnership between the two companies.

A new partnership would represent no less than a tectonic shift in the search market given Facebook’s vast reach of 1 billion users. Google and other search engines already have to contend with users starting a search in their search engines, only to end up on Facebook. Having 1 billion people starting and ending the search process on one platform would almost certainly cut into Google’s 65% share of the search market.

Of course such a scenario is a long way off; for now all we have is the promise of a deal being massaged by two female titans in tech. Before Yahoo/Facebook search can become a reality, many of the niggling hurdles both already face in their businesses will have to be sorted out. In this regard, Yahoo doesn’t have to do much work but Facebook on the other hand would still need to figure out where to place that search content.

For now it’s all tantalizing fodder for shareholders because let’s face it, Facebook’s 1 billion+ users are not losing sleep over having Facebook becoming a search engine.

Do you think a search partnership between Facebook and Yahoo could work? Share your thoughts with us below.

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