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Is Yahoo! getting back in the search game?

Rumour has it that the old titan of the web, Yahoo, is about to wake from its slumber.

Apparently, Yahoo is working on two projects, named Fast Break and Curveball, with the aim of getting back into the search engine game.

According to numerous sources inside Yahoo, CEO Marissa Mayer wants to accelerate the end of its long-term search partnership with Microsoft. Currently, Yahoo holds a long-term search and advertising contract with Bing.

Although this contract was renewed last year, it was reported that Mayer was unhappy with the deal. The deal is set to expire at the end of March, and analysts are speculating that these two projects may be finished in time to replace the results Yahoo gets from Bing.

Any move by Yahoo to distance themselves from Microsoft may be difficult because Bing also powers Yahoo’s international versions. This means that Yahoo will have to deal with the complications involving search algorithms in other languages. If they do decide to create their own search engine, they would probably have to start with English before moving onto other languages. A temporary deal with Microsoft for search results in other languages will be critical.

Yahoo’s history with search is a little rocky. Initially a household name when it came to search, they were once powered by Inktomi, before being powered by Google from the early 2000s to 2004. Yahoo then developed its own search technology, which was dropped by CEO Carol Bartz in 2009, in exchange for a deal with Microsoft.