Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) may be eyeing outer space through its agreement with NASA, but Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) prefers to stay a little closer to home -- by aiming to boost its local search initiative. Today, Yahoo! announced that it will acquire is run by three people who are apparently en route to San Francisco to work with the Yahoo! gang as we speak. Instead of offering searches on topics of universal interest, the site tips users off to local events through the use of an online calendar system. The service allows people to hunt down and keep track of concerts, film festivals, and related local fun, as well as post such events to their own social calendars online. It also allows users to make comments about the events.

Maybe this all reminds you of social networking sites like Friendster and News Corp.'s (NYSE:NWS) If so, bingo!'s site points out that this is a collaborative tool, enhanced by the people using and interacting with it.

For the time being, the service will remain separate from Yahoo!, although news coverage implied that Yahoo! will integrate it into its search capabilities at some point. Financial details of the acquisition were not revealed.

I've wondered whether maybe Yahoo! has been a little slow on the uptake at times recently, but word of additional capabilities in local search efforts is comforting. News out of rival Google has seemed a bit far-flung to me lately.

I mean, a deal with NASA, poking into WiFi, and rumors that it's planning on challengingMicrosoft Office with the help of SunMicrosystems (NASDAQ:SUNW)? It's enough to make me wonder whether Google is beginning to stretch itself too thin, especially considering its astronomical stock price and matching P/E ratio.

Maybe it's a good thing to concentrate on your own backyard, where Yahoo! seems to be setting up shop. Of course, investors can only hope that moves like this one add up to a home-field advantage for Yahoo!.

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