Yahoo's 'Fast Break,' 'Curveball' To Help It Reclaim Search

Yahoo's secret projects 'Fast Break' and 'Curveball' will reportedly help the company reclaim its search functionality.
Posted at 7:54 PM, Feb 01, 2014

Yahoo hopes to reclaim its once-dominated position in online search.

Currently, Microsoft powers the algorithms behind Yahoo’s search and search advertising. (Via YouTube / Bing)

The deal, known as the Yahoo and Microsoft Search Alliance, has been in place since 2009.

But in a new report from Re/code, Kara Swisher says Yahoo is working on two projects nicknamed Fast Break and Curveball “which could eventually result in a full search engine, possibly more oriented to mobile than the desktop.”

And a writer for TechCrunch says this move makes sense, because such a large portion of its revenue comes from search: 31 percent. This could give the company more control over its cash influx.

Because things haven’t always been so stable under the Microsoft deal.

ComputerWorld reports Microsoft guaranteed a certain amount of revenue for Yahoo, but “Microsoft then fell almost continually short of its obligations under the deal, prompting Yahoo executives to note … that Microsoft wasn't meeting its commitment.”

If Yahoo can get out from under the deal, there’s still the whole issue of beating out the big guy. ComScore reports Google claimed 67.3 percent of search market share in 2013.

In a world dominated by Google search, how can Yahoo search appeal to users? A writer for ReadWrite says it’ll be Yahoo’s mobile focus that sweetens the deal.

“Google dominates desktop Web search ... Yahoo could change that by building services that appeal to mobile developers, who would in turn have a financial interest in promoting a new Yahoo mobile search.” (Via ReadWrite)

Mobile or not, Search Engine Land’s founding editor isn’t sold. He tweeted: “Yahoo can try, but it's too little too late. It's not going to recover in search.” (Via Twitter / @dannysullivan)