Yahoo! Inc., one of the ‘orginal’ Internet search companies, has thrown in the towel in the battle for market dominance.

In a surprisingly frank Bloomberg News interview of Chief Financial Officer Susan Decker, she claims that “We don’t think it’s reasonable to assume we’re going to gain a lot of share from Google. It’s not our goal to be No. 1 in Internet search. We would be very happy to maintain our market share.”

The evidence speaks for itself – Yahoo! handled 19 percent of global Internet searches in November, a drop from 27 percent a year earlier, according to Web tracker ComScore Networks Inc. Google’s share, by contrast, rose to 60 percent from 47 percent.

Perhaps more interesting is Yahoo!’s plan to boost revenues by making ads more relevant to increase click throughs. We are, of course, talking about paid advertising. Does this signal the demise of ‘free’ listings?

One tactic that they have already investigated is to make the default ad copy shorter. Perhaps a cynical view, but we can’t help questioning whether this is to allow more ads on each page? More ads = more clicks = more money….