Much has been written throughout the Search industry over the past few days, months, and years, relative to the “impending” Search Alliance between Bing and Yahoo and the end of Yahoo Search as we’ve known it. And now the time has finally arrived, Yahoo organic search is 100% powered by Bing (in the United States and Canada, for now). Long gone are Paid Inclusion (since the end of 2009), Search Monkey, and the “Big 3” of search. All organic results in Bing and Yahoo are powered by the same Microsoft algorithm/index. What does it mean? Here’s a run down of other changes so far….
Any positions your site had in Yahoo that you did not have in Bing are now gone — all rankings are dependent on your site’s ability to rank in Bing now, regardless of past performance in Yahoo.
Yahoo Site Explorer and the Yahoo Directory are still intact.
The average user of Yahoo and Bing remain separate demographics.
The user interface and overall “look and feel” of Yahoo and Bing have remained separate and unique and the two engines are still competing on display advertising.
Universal/Blended search results are displaying differently within the two engines — which means that a search in Bing may reveal image results, for example, interspersed within the Organic listings that aren’t shown for the same keyword query results in Yahoo.
Optimizing for Bing is, in many ways, similar as for Google, with the exception that Bing’s index, overall remains much smaller. Your best bets continue to be to produce quality, thematic, and keyword-rich content — keyword-rich urls are also helpful.
Paid search changes are continuing to transition and roll out separately.
What else will follow? Additions of new partners into the Search Alliance? Removal of Yahoo Site Explorer? The Yahoo Directory? Who Knows? Stay tuned for changes to the above … the Search Alliance continues to be an evolving entity in and of itself.