The two new centers will be run by Ricardo Baeza-Yates, the author of search technology book "Modern Information Retrieval." A native of Chile, Baeza-Yates will work out of Yahoo's new Barcelona office, Yahoo said Sunday.
Yahoo has been hiring search researchers in an attempt to strengthen its search technology. Last month, Yahoo hired Ron Brachman, an artificial intelligence specialist, to head a new research and development lab in New York.
Leading Web search firms have been racing to add research talent as search engine providers battle for market share. Google has nearly 40 percent of the search engine market while Yahoo controls nearly 30 percent, according to one Web tracking authority.