Rumors are swirling that Yahoo and Facebook may be forming an alliance to combat Google. A November 18th early morning post from The Sunday Telegraph stated that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been in discussions with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, about how the two companies could possibly collaborate on a web-based search engine. Putting aside his disbelief to hypothesize for a moment, SiliconANGLE Founding Editor Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins said that IF Yahoo still had a search engine they could offer to Facebook and IF Yahoo had not just laid off hundreds of its most talented engineers in its search department, THEN it could be assumed that Yahoo and Facebook could work very well together because of Facebook’s interest in fulfilling the demand of their giant user base to use Facebook as a search portal.
Hopkins noted that considering how many users Facebook has and the fact that there’s a big search box at the top of their page, the actual search results from Facebook are typically not relevant and rather disappointing. The bottom line, he said, is that Facebook wants to provide a better user experience.
If there would ever be an alliance between Facebook and Yahoo, and again, Hopkins emphasized the “If” – he doesn’t believe there would be a major impact on Google. He explained this by saying, “There are already very strong ties between these three companies [Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft] . . . so anything that would have happened by aligning these companies against Google, has already happened.”
In 2009, Yahoo and Microsoft signed a deal for Microsoft’s Bing search engine to power all of Yahoo’s search results. Hopkins noted that the contract between Yahoo and Microsoft is very long-term, and although not iron-clad, it would still be disadvantageous for Yahoo to break it. A Sunday evening post by Kara Swisher on All Things D dispelled the myth that Yahoo and Facebook were in search alliance discussions, saying this was a highly unlikely pairing. Hopkins agreed with this, mainly because “Yahoo is not a search engine anymore.” See the entire segment with Kristin Feledy and Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins on the Morning NewsDesk Show.