Yahoo follows Microsoft with changes to search group

Yahoo created a new position, vice president of marketplace quality, in an effort to drive innovation in the company's advertising network

Both Yahoo and Microsoft have made organizational changes to their search advertising businesses, an indication that they continue to look for ways to better compete against search giant Google.

Yahoo on Thursday said it created a new role, vice president of marketplace quality, charged with developing a strategy to drive innovation and faster delivery of products in Yahoo's advertising network. Reggie Davis, previously an associate general counsel at Yahoo who handled click-fraud litigation, will take on the new position.

Davis will hire workers to manage Yahoo's quality teams and listen to customer feedback in an effort to address click fraud, traffic quality and network placement issues, Yahoo said.

The announcement comes a day after Microsoft said it created a new group by combining its search and advertising platform divisions. Aligning search and advertising under a single research and development umbrella will help drive advances in search and commerce, said James Utzschneider, general manager of Dynamics marketing at Microsoft.

The companies could be hoping that the changes will help them improve their positions in the market. Yahoo and Microsoft are struggling to gain market share against Google, which dominates search and thus can collect a sizeable share of online advertising revenue.

Previous efforts to gain on Google by Yahoo and Microsoft don't appear to be working. In February, Google increased its share of the search market by 0.6 percent compared to the previous month, according to a report released on Wednesday by ComScore. That left Google with 48.1 percent of the search market in February. Yahoo held on to its 28.1 percent of U.S. searches during the month and Microsoft lost a tiny share, with 10.5 percent, down from 10.6 percent in January.

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