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Yahoo! Japan was the most popular search engine in Japan, and still is one of the most popular websites with the search function now. There’s a rumor that Yahoo! Japan may switch the organic search engine source from Google to Naver after its current contract with Google ends at the end of March 2025. According to Yahoo! Finance News, the stock price of Z Holdings, which is Yahoo! Japan’s parent company, surged after this rumor came out.
Over the years, Yahoo! Japan has collaborated with and adopted different search technology sources. While Yahoo! in the rest of the world adopted Bing as its organic search engine, Yahoo! Japan made a strong partnership with Google in order to provide the best possible services to users in Japan.
The rumor came out when Yahoo! Japan began the bucket test to evaluate the quality of search technology as a part of the contract renewal and review process.
The speculation about the adoption of Naver search engine came after Z Holdings (ZHD), which owns Yahoo and LINE, announced on April 28 that it will merge with Yahoo and LINE on October 1 and change the company name to “LINE Yahoo (English name: LY Corporation)”. Note that Naver is currently Z Holdings’ largest shareholder.
While Yahoo! Japan may still extend the contract with Google after March 2025, it seems that the next a couple of years will be a tough time for Google, especially in the Korean/Japanese market as Samsung announced in April that they were switching the default search engine from Google to Bing.