Marissa Mayer Wants Yahoo To Be Safari’s Default Search Engine

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Having seen its shares jump recently, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has another plan she hopes will continue her company’s turnaround: convincing Apple to adopt Yahoo as the default search engine for Safari on iOS.

Yahoo has reportedly been working on two secret projects designed to build “a viable mobile search engine and monetization platform to convince Apple to make Yahoo the default search engine on its Safari browser on the iPhone and iPad,” according to a new report from Re/code.

Codenamed “Fast Break” and “Curveball,” the projects will be the subject of an upcoming presentation Mayer will make to Apple at some point in the near future — with the aim of getting the company to ditch Google as its search partner.

“This is the aim of the whole effort here, to grab the pole position in iOS search,” a person “working on the effort” was quoted as saying. “It will take more than pretty pictures, though, to convince Apple to give up Google, given its focus on consumer experience being top-notch. But Marissa wants it very badly.”

Mayer has reportedly “buttonholed a few Apple executives on the topic,” including Jony Ive — although an ongoing deal with Microsoft might hinder progress.

Mayer is reportedly looking to get out of its 10-year search partnership with Microsoft, while Apple’s choice to ditch Google Maps in iOS might also mean that the company could be open to the idea of integrating Yahoo into its mobile operating system.

Of course, this all depends on the quality of what Yahoo is offering — and while there’s currently a lot of big talk about revolutionizing search, right now all of that is firmly future tense.

Because as of this writing embracing Yahoo seems like the kind of “forward step” that would only be matched by putting flame gifs, a GeoCities banner, and a background midi track on Apple’s home page.

  • Z Odbuster

    Another Maps fiasco in the offering /s

  • Barefoot Pagan

    I like the idea of getting out from under the thumb of Google, but I’ve been trying out Yahoo search a bit lately, and I find it a bit lacking. It seems to do everything it can to stay within Yahoo on its’ search results. Yahoo needs to dump Yahoo Answers, as it is just absolute junk. It’s sophomoric, but it comes up A LOT on Yahoo search. I think Mayer has taken great strides at Yahoo, and if she continues on her course, perhaps she can turn that ship around. I used to love Yahoo in the early 2000’s, and I’d like to see it survive.

  • D R

    first, yahoo has to stop repackaging bing…

  • digitaldumdum

    “Marissa Mayer Wants Yahoo To Be Safari’s Default Search Engine”

    Judging from the photo, she’s more interested in getting a cosmetic or shampoo commercial deal. Or maybe for modeling fashion T’shirts for JC Penney or Target.

  • Gruffogre

    I”d quite like to search HER engine!

  • William Donelson

    Yahoo continue to fail, on an accelerating curve. You cannot even contact customer services without getting a 404 error these days. Today I gave up and cancelled all my Yahoo services. Why anyone would ever go to Yahoo for ANYTHING is beyond me.

  • Strani

    I don’t use Apple anymore but if I did, I’d be pretty unhappy to see Yahoo there. I’m not too pleased with them since they closed My Yahoo in my country. I use http://www.start.me as an alternative now, by the way.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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