Yahoo reverses, will store user search data for longer

Yahoo recently said it will significantly extend the amount of time it stores data on what users search for online, reversing the firm's 2008 policy of deleting such data after 90 days.

Beginning this summer, Yahoo will begin storing search logs for 18 months, bringing the firm in line with market leader Google. Yahoo said it may keep other types of information about its customers for longer as well.

Yahoo chief trust officer Anne Toth suggested the firm made the switch in order to offer more personalized services to customers, which some observers have taken to indicate Yahoo is planning to increase the revenue it collects from targeted advertisements.

"Over the past several years it’s clear that the Internet has changed, our business has changed and the competitive landscape has changed," Toth said.

"We have been reevaluating our log file data retention policy in light of these changes and as a result of this review we are moving to align our log file data retention policy closer to the competitive norm across the industry."

Yahoo has been losing ground steadily to Google and saw search revenue drop last year, in part due to a partnership with Microsoft that entitles the software giant to a portion of Yahoo's ad revenue. CEO Carol Bartz has also attracted criticism for her outspoken comments to the press.