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Mayer admits Yahoo search fail – Google Earth adventure for lost boy – Madonna in cinema texting ban

Mayer admits Yahoo search share has "declined"

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has admitted that the company's search share has decreased, but says plans are in place to improve.

Speaking at Yahoo's Q3 earnings call, she admitted that the business has been losing ground in search for several years, and that it is "trading share" with rivals Microsoft.

After posting a joint-low of 11.3% US search market share for September, Mayer hopes to reverse the trend. Around 100 search experiments were carried out in Q3 in a bid to improve the service, while Yahoo also appears to be shifting some of its focus onto mobile.

Plans are in place to improve the appearance of SERPs for both desktop and mobile, as well as new search ad formats and the revived Yahoo Answers service.

Yahoo's aim is to improve the user experience, although as the UK search market share figures for September reveal, they remain way behind the likes of Bing and Google.

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Indian man finds childhood home using Google Earth

In 1986, five-year-old Saroo Munshi Khan was on a train with his 14-year-old brother Guddu when he fell asleep. As the train left the station, Guddu got off without realising what had happened, leaving Saroo to wake up all alone in Calcutta, some 1,500 miles from home.

He was placed in an orphanage, and eventually grew up with an Australian family in Hobarth. However, he never forgot his home, and this year he finally managed to track down his family using Google Earth.

Saroo calculated a vague radius of land which he estimated was the right distance from Calcutta and began searching. Through recognising the odd landmark here and there, he was finally able to be reunited with his family, and has since brought out a book describing his journey.

Google technology has a history of helping people get back in touch with their roots. Earlier this year, a 28-year-old Chinese man who was abducted as a child found his mother and siblings using Google Maps.

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Madonna banned from cinema after texting controversy

A US cinema chain has barred pop star Madonna from all of its cinemas after she reportedly began texting on her phone midway through a screening.

She is said to have accompanied director Steve McQueen to a New York Film Festival screening of his new film 12 Years a Slave, but was asked to leave after ignoring calls to put her phone away.

Tim League, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse cinemas, explained that he had written to all his cinemas to instruct them not to admit Madonna until she apologised for the incident. Eyewitnesses claim that she batted away requests to turn off her phone, saying: "It's for business".

Mr League cited his company's zero-tolerance policy towards mobile phones, adding that Madonna had received the standard single warning before he took the action.

As yet, there has been no word from the 55-year-old or her representatives, so the ban remains in place.

Of course, Madonna is by no means the only famous name to have been spotted using a phone at an inappropriate time. Last month, American Senator John McCain was caught out playing online poker on his iPhone during a debate about military action in Syria.

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Written by James Riches

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