Mayer’s Bold Ambition – YHOO, GOOGL, AAPL

Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer is hoping to convince Apple (AAPL) to make Yahoo the default search engine on iOS, reports Re/code.

Currently, Google (GOOGL) is set as the default search selection on Apple’s mobile devices, but users have the option to switch to Microsoft (MSFT)’s Bing or Yahoo by adjusting certain device settings.

Citing sources within the web portal, the report says that Mayer and Yahoo SVP of mobile Adam Cahan are aggressively working on a pair of internal projects that are part of Yahoo’s redesign of its mobile search engine. Most important, the publication notes, is a search engine and monetization platform, which is said to be in advanced stage, that aims at persuading Apple to switch its default iOS search engine from Google to Yahoo’s own offering.

“This is the aim of the whole effort here, to grab the pole position in iOS search,” said one source who is reportedly working on the project. “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, who knows search cold, from her years at Google, has reportedly managed to get support for her efforts from her longtime friend and Apple’s head of software design Jonathan Ive, and he and other unnamed Apple execs are open to the Yahoo proposal, according to the Apple Insider blog. “Mayer has supposedly wrangled support from a few Apple execs including longtime acquaintance Jony Ive,” Apple Insider said.

Google pays Apple around $1 billion a year for referral traffic driven to its search pages by Safari and subsequent ad network. If Mayer is able to achieve her goal to persuade the iPhone maker to switch the default search engine in its Safari browser from Google to Yahoo, it would be a personal victory and an important accomplishment for her company’s turnaround plan. That said, Google search, which has been the default search engine in iOS for quite some time, will be a tough sell considering how omnipresent Google has become these days.

As 9to5mac’s Mike Beasley points out “after all, have you ever heard anyone say “I’m going to Yahoo! it”?.

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