Back when the dominance of big search engines was in a nascent stage, Yahoo was considered the most powerful engine because of its quirky marketing presence, which was particularly appealing to local businesses. But then Google and Bing came on the scene and rapidly devoured search marketing shares and developed a strategy that blew Yahoo out of the water. The misery compounded on Yahoo has relegated it to a third option in the minds of many, despite prevalent use of it's email and news functions. But, through it all, local search has been the priority for the big search engines, as it represents the most profitable section of the search market. It has also been the target of many industry efforts.
Yahoo's fall from grace was also a large factor in the company bringing in new CEO Marissa Mayer, who conducted her first earnings call since landing the high-profile gig. Mayer was previously a VP at Google for local and maps, and in her outline for returning Yahoo to dominance, she placed a big emphasis on revitalizing local strategy.
Mayer called search a "core priority" for Yahoo and communicated to investors and shareholders that the company is planning to improve its local search agenda and make improvements to its mobile strategy.
What's next for Yahoo
Mayer said Yahoo needs to improve its mobile strategies if it wants to remain relevant.
A big part of this will be retraining Yahoo's efforts to cope with the increasing prevalence of smartphones, which the company had not planned for. Mayer said that consolidation will be key as the company currently has 76 different apps across all platforms. Optimizing their mobile focus will help Yahoo to better compete in the local search arena.
"The mobile wave is a huge wave for us to ride," Mayer said.