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Following Shopping, Yahoo Partly Outsources Health Vertical To Healthline

The Yahoo strategy of outsourcing content and technology continues. According to a press release, Healthline will support and augment the existing content and provide search for Yahoo Health.

In the Healthline partnership, Yahoo! gains a technology partner that already provides over 90 million users a month with the most contextually relevant and clinically accurate health information available on the Internet and offers targeted opportunities for advertisers. Under the multi-dimensional agreement, Healthline will build upon Yahoo!’s existing high quality content to develop, manage and host an expanded Yahoo! Health channel that will be rolled out to consumers later this spring.

Here’s the search part:

Under the terms of the deal, Healthline’s proprietary semantic taxonomy – created by doctors and managed and continuously improved by Healthline’s medical informatics engineers – will be the underlying technology powering Yahoo! Health’s health specific search and navigation. Yahoo! Health will also feature Healthline’s clinical applications, including SymptomSearch™, TreatmentSearch™, and DocSearch™, a suite of interactive tools that empower consumers with a complete decision support platform for health.

Healthline does in fact have a superior health-specific search engine but also operates a health-related ad network, which Yahoo now becomes part of. This is a big win for Healthline. It should also help make Yahoo’s health vertical and, especially health-related search, better as well.

As I discussed when Yahoo decided to outsource much of its shopping site to PriceGrabber (following the big search outsource to Microsoft), a pattern seems to have emerged: bring in key partners to provide content and functionality in selected content areas and verticals. By contrast, Yahoo has been hiring and beefing up staffing in news, which suggests that certain “verticals” are more core than others.

We can now play the guessing game, which vertical will be next? I’ll guess that it’s going to be real estate.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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