I like to imagine search engines as though they are horses in a race. Google is the current leader. In fact, you could say that Google is already wearing the wreath of flowers, its jockey cracking champagne in victory row. Still, Bing is running hard and gaining, putting up a fight that’s respectable. AOL and Ask.com broke their legs on the first lap and are being pulled by their riders in a tense battle for a very, very sad last place. Yahoo is the only search engine that’s currently especially interesting. Their a few laps behind Bing and falling, but their new jockey is whipping them for all their worth.
Is this metaphor getting a little convoluted? Let’s just go to the story.
Yahoo, in another desperate grasp for relevancy, has partnered with Yelp to bolster their local search delivery. Yelp has a similar deal already with Bing, but Yahoo is apparently under the impression that the best way to beat a rival is to imitate them, even when you’re already behind.
The new search results will display a box on the right hand side of the page, listing details about local restaurants and images to go along with the locations. For most people the change is already live, so you can go to Yahoo and do a local search to see for yourself.
As far as I’m concerned, this move is just more tire spinning from Yahoo. If they want to gain ground on their competitors, they have to innovate and deliver something that no one else does…or at least do something better. Offering a duplicate service to your already more popular competitor isn’t going to do much to help you gain ground.
It’s great news for Yelp though, as it spreads their search domination a little further and makes their stock climb a little higher.