Many of you may have heard the rumours and thought it was a wind-up. Two rivals, not only working together but merging technologies. Yahoo! and Bing get jiggy with each other. So what does that mean for your website?
You would be forgiven for thinking they had been watching too many Sci-Fi movies. Calling themselves the Search Alliance, top technology firms Microsoft and Yahoo! have struck a deal and combined their efforts in an attempt to claw back some market share from top dog Google.
So what happened?
In 2008, Yahoo tried and failed to sign a search engine deal with Google, indicating that they wanted to move their focus elsewhere. They also closed their Search Ambassador Programme in the same year, leading to further speculation that Yahoo wanted out of the search engine game.
As of 2010, Yahoo commands a just under 20% share of the search engine market, compared with Google at 65% and Bing with 12% (source: comScore).
By combining their resources, the new Search Alliance have increased their market share to over 30% and that’s a huge customer base for businesses to advertise to.
So what’s the catch?
Well, to be honest, there doesn’t seem to be one. Yup, that had me scratching and shaking my head too.
Let’s understand the changes.
Yahoo search is going to be using the Bing search engine technology to deliver its results and this is already being trialled for a small percentage of current Yahoo Search Engine Page Results (SERPs). If all goes well, they plan to roll out the integration to all searches in 2011.
From the Search Alliance website…
Microsoft will manage the technology platforms that deliver the algorithmic (powered by Bing) and paid (powered by adCenter) search results.
But it’s not just the search results that are changing, advertising is getting a makeover too, specifically Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising.
Yahoo Search Marketing will be closed down with Microsoft’s Adcenter technology taking the helm. While Yahoo advertisers may initially balk at the idea of migrating to Microsoft, keep in mind that they will be essentially doubling their audience, for free.
Yahoo and Microsoft will each provide customer support to different advertiser segments: Yahoo’s sales team will exclusively support high volume advertisers, SEO and SEM agencies, and resellers and their clients. Microsoft will support self-service advertisers. In addition, Microsoft adCenter will be the platform for all search campaigns.
It’s not often that you get an extra 100% free on something you’ve already paid for, so why not make the most of these changes?
To find out more information, visit the Search Alliance website.