Yahoo Opens Search Lab In Israel - InformationWeek

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Yahoo Opens Search Lab In Israel

Ronny Lempel, an expert in information organization and retrieval, will head the Haifa lab and will work on developing a new approach to Web search.

Yahoo on Tuesday opened a lab in Israel that will focus on improving search technology.

Ronny Lempel, an expert in information organization and retrieval, will head the Haifa lab, Yahoo said. Lempel will report directly to Ricardo Baeza-Yates, VP of Yahoo research.

Lempel will work with other scientists in developing a "new approach to Web search," Prabhakar Raghavan, head of Yahoo research, said in a statement. "His expertise in search technologies and ties to local academia will help us draw on the best talent and knowledge from across the region and strengthen our worldwide R&D efforts."

Before joining Yahoo, Lempel worked at the Information Retrieval Group at IBM's Haifa Research Lab, focusing on research and development for enterprise search systems. Lempel received his Ph.D. in computer science at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

"Israel is fertile ground for incredibly talented technologists, researchers and engineers, and the Yahoo Research Israel Lab provides the best opportunity to create the technologies that will underpin the next generation of search on the Internet," Lempel said.

The latest lab is the second opening this month. Yahoo last week launched a Bangalore, India, lab headed by Rajeev Rastogi, the founding director of Bell Labs India.

Yahoo remains a distant second in online search to Google. In January, Google accounted for 58.5% of U.S. Web searches, while Yahoo had 22.2%, according to ComScore. Microsoft was third with 9.8%. Americans conducted 10.5 billion searches on the Web in January.

Yahoo's failure to capture a bigger share of the multi-billion-dollar ad market associated with online search contributed to a drop in stock price that led to a pending takeover bid by Microsoft.

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