Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) may have recently turned 10 years old, but it certainly isn't showing any geriatric tendencies. Its continued push to increase its relevance in the Internet market -- not to mention the search market -- has resulted in a lot of new initiatives these days.

And if Yahoo!'s beefing up, it's certainly for a good cause -- survival. Giants such as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) MSN, and Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) America Online are all also pursuing the same revenues and users as Yahoo!.

The concept that makes the offer of free hosting for small businesses compelling is that so many don't have a Web presence yet. And many of these are precisely the businesses that would help to bulk up Yahoo!'s local search efforts, which is one of the high-growth areas in search at large. Last summer, local search was at a particularly high profile; as time has gone on, Kelsey Group has come to predict that it will generate $3.4 billion in sales by 2009.

Offering the sites for free, therefore, only sounds like some sort of public service for the small and entrepreneurial. This is just another means through which Yahoo! hopes to make its own local search a more effective and detailed solution.

What do you think of this latest news out of Yahoo!? Talk to other Fools on our Yahoo! discussion board.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.