Yahoo announces pay-per-search

Summary:Update: Looking to make up for flagging ad sales, Yahoo introduces a premium service that will charge users for searches.

Yahoo on Wednesday unveiled a pay-per-view search product, the latest in a string of premium services aimed at offsetting a sharp decline in the company's online advertising.

As previously reported, the service, dubbed " Yahoo Premium Document Search," is designed to expand on a previous agreement with search technology provider Northern Light Technology, which Tuesday was acquired by enterprise software company Divine. Northern Light last year created a premium search engine for Yahoo's corporate clients.

"This fits into our desire to diversify revenue and more effectively monetize search and directory," said Scott Gatz, vice president of search and directory for Yahoo. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The move comes as Yahoo launches a flurry of money-making schemes in a bid to revive its revenue, which dipped to $717 million in 2001 from $1.1 billion in the preceding year.

Last November, Yahoo struck a deal with paid search provider Overture Services to integrate pay-for-placement listings into its search results. In addition, Yahoo has begun to charge visitors for a smattering of services, including more e-mail memory, real-time stock quotes, online personals and auctions.

Although the new search service has not officially launched, a preview available to Web surfers Tuesday offered a glimpse of what's to come.


Gartner analysts Simon Hayward and Mark Gilbert say Yahoo's new paid-search brings wider public attention to Divine, which has embarked on an ambitious quest to provide collaboration and content management across the enterprise market.

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According to the site, Yahoo plans to charge consumers between $1 and $4 to retrieve files from a specialized database of some 25 million research documents culled from 7,100 publications, including academic periodicals. Yahoo also expects to offer a "Premium Discount Search" option of 50 documents a month for $4.95.

Search results on Yahoo Premium Document Search are identical to those found on the paid search service offered on Northern Light's home page.

"Through this agreement, Yahoo can offer its customers premium content that they otherwise would not find on the Web," David Seuss, the former chief executive officer of Northern Light Technology and now a Divine executive, said in a statement.

Topics: Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Software

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