Yahoo Explores Search Partnership with Google

In another sign of the ongoing changes in online search, Yahoo is testing a search partnership with Google. The search giant confirmed in a statement that "Yahoo is currently testing search results and ads from a number of partners, including Google as one of their options."

A Yahoo spokesperson told us, "As we work to create the absolute best experiences for Yahoo users, from time to time, we run small tests with a variety of partners including search providers. There is nothing further to share at this time."

In April, Yahoo and Microsoft amended their previous search partnership to give increased flexibility to Yahoo. Under the new arrangement, the companies' partnership is non-exclusive for both desktop and mobile searches, meaning Yahoo can explore additional arrangements with search engines beyond Microsoft's Bing.

Antitrust Concerns?

Yahoo's new search tests with Google first came to light after Aaron Wall, an online marketer and founder of the search engine optimization Web site SEO Book, published a post on his blog Wednesday saying he had noticed different results when searching with Yahoo on different browsers.

"I am uncertain to what degree they are testing search results from Google, but on some Web browsers I am seeing Yahoo organics and ads powered by Bing [and] in other browsers I am seeing Yahoo organics and ads powered by Google," Wall noted.

According to a follow-up post in the New York Times' Bits blog, "Any broad search deal between Yahoo and Google is likely to come under antitrust scrutiny."

Google is already under investigation in Europe for its search practices. Separate antitrust complaints by the European Commission allege that the search giant has "artificially boosted its presence in the comparison shopping market" and that its Android mobile operating system is also anticompetitive.

"If Yahoo gives Google significant share it could create issues...

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