Yahoo Wants To Make More Money From Its International Users

Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) purchased Arab portal Maktoob this summer for a reported $75 million and additional international acquisitions could be on the way. Keith Nilsson, Yahoo’s SVP for emerging markets, noted the purchase during his presentation to analysts Wednesday and said the company would “continue to evaluate expansion opportunities in new markets through buy options, through build options.”

On the international front, Yahoo is battling a gap between its audience and its revenues. Currently, Nilsson said, 75 percent of Yahoo users are from outside the United States but international operations account for only 37 percent of the company’s revenue. To make that more “commensurate,” he said, the company is trying to create a more “consistent Yahoo experience in every international market with rich, relevant local content.” In the past, he said, many of the company’s international properties had been decentralized and often featured “older versions” of Yahoo properties, something that the company is changing. In his own presentation, CFO Tim Morse described boosting monetization of Yahoo’s international audience as the company’s third top priority, after winning in display and growing search volume.

Nilsson pointed to the new Yahoo Cricket site in India as an example of an international success. Yahoo Cricket, Nilsson said, has already surpassed ESPN-owned Cricinfo in traffic.

At least one missing piece: In July, CEO Carol Bartz said the company was “closing in on someone” to lead its international operations — but Yahoo still has not named an international chief.