Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer: “We’re Long On Search”

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Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer spoke at a Goldman Sachs technology conference in San Francisco yesterday, and reaffirmed Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s commitment to developing search technology in the future. This surprised many industry analysts, who had noted that most of the Internet titan’s recent strategic moves had been focused on improving their content offerings.

Q&A with Mayer

Mayer sat down with a GS analyst after the conference yesterday for a Q&A session.

“We’re long on search,” Mayer said when asked about Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s plans in the area. “Search is curiosity, and that will never be done.”

Mayer added she is excited the possibilities that new search technologies offer — especially further innovations in contextual search where ads appear on content pages based on the subject matter of the content.

Yahoo’s recent acquisition of Yelp

It was reported on Monday of this week that Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) had inked a partnership agreement. The deal will allow Yahoo to incorporate Yelp’s local community business listings as well as user-generated reviews into their search results. Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) has also made similar deals with with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

The Yelp deal certainly supports CEO Mayer’s claim that Yahoo is still “long on search”. Yahoo has also been very active with acquisitions over the last few months, including scooping up another small tech startup today. At least a couple of these recent acquisitions could also play some role in Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s renewed search technology push.

Value of user profiles

Later on in the Q&A session, Mayer elaborated on the value of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) user profiles. “One of the things that make ads on the company’s properties so valuable, Mayer said, is the amount of information Yahoo knows about its users. “Yahoo has some of the best data on the internet,” she said. “What consumers like to read, what they like to do.”

Mayer’s comments yesterday make it clear that she and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) are not resting on their laurels, and that they plan to duke it out with the other tech titans in a number of sectors including search.

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