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Are Yahoo Local Search Changes Already the Influence of Mayer?

If you are a local marketer and have tried to get your business location verified in any of the three major search engines you know that each have their pitfalls.

Google has made the switch to Google+ Local which has thrown everyone into a local Internet marketing tizzy as of late although there is some hope for change.

Bing is well, Bing. They have their processes and their quirks but no one is ever quite sure just how many people are seeing listings or are actually using Bing. It has the most silent combined 30% of search share one can imagine.

The reason we say Bing search is combined is because it also takes into account Yahoo search which was riding off into the sunset until Yahoo made the move to bring Google’s Marissa Mayer in as CEO. The likelihood that things stay the same there in the search game are pretty slim considering who know has the reins.

Well, we may be seeing early impact of Mayer’s time at Yahoo although the kind of change reported by the NGS Marketing blog isn’t something that would happen that quickly (but what do I know?). It has to do with Yahoo upgrading its decidedly antiquated business verification process which was done by good ol’ fashioned humans until now. They have even gone ahead and added an option that neither Google not Bing offers

The email verification is a good and convenient option, which neither Google, nor Bing currently provide.

What does this addition mean? First, it should generally take much shorter time for a listing to be verified and published (in case you choose any other option than the postal mail one). Previously, the process was being completed manually by Yahoo’s moderators and in some cases this was taking well over a month. Apparently, the moderators’ job will now be eased, and most probably some of them will be relocated and/or discarded.

So who knows? Maybe Yahoo will become a real search player again? When the agreement with Microsoft runs (or dies) out will Yahoo go back to becoming a true search entity again? With all of the traffic that comes through Yahoo don’t you think they might want to keep the search earnings potential in-house rather than sharing with their Bing buddies? Danny Sullivan doesn’t think so as he stated in a post that wonders where Yahoo’s next search alliance might come from in a post Microsoft search era.

Of course, Yahoo can’t walk away without finding another partner, and it has a real shortage of choices. There’s no one left in the US with the proven ability to deliver search queries at the volume Yahoo would demand.

Ask.com? It’s largely outsourced to Google these days. Blekko? I’m sure it would love the job, but there would be a huge scaling-up challenge and, I’d say, much more work to do on the relevancy front. Maybe Yandex or Baidu could make a bid?

It won’t be Yahoo. Yahoo has lost too much key search talent and hasn’t kept its core search technology up-to-date. When it gave itself over to Microsoft, Yahoo really left itself without a “Plan B.”

This gets more and more interesting doesn’t it? Is there a YaGoog far off in the future? Could Googahoo be a real option? It’s not like Mayer doesn’t know the powers that be at Google well. Until recently she was one! Ahhh, but would the powers-that-be-in-DC allow it?

What’s your thought?