There have been whisperings in the air and at meetings about a particular merger. Some held their breath, while others thought it would never happen. Well, it’s official. Yahoo and MSN/Bing are merging their search efforts to form a union known as the Search Alliance.
Search Alliance is the name that Yahoo and MSN/Bing are using for the search merger. However, at the same time they are still competitors. Although Yahoo and MSN/Bing have joined forces in the search arena, they will still remain competitors in the display market. If a company is running display campaigns with either of the engines, they will be unaffected by the merger in regard to through which engine their display ads will be managed.
The Search Alliance merger will allow Yahoo results to be powered by MSN/Bing. When the transition is complete advertisers will be managing their paid search campaigns in MSN/Bing AdCenter. Any advertiser who has been advertising in both Yahoo and MSN/Bing for search will only need to focus on optimizing the MSN/Bing campaigns because their Yahoo campaigns will be turned off. For advertisers who are only advertising in Yahoo, they will need to make sure that they get a MSN/Bing account set up.
The Search Alliance should prove interesting. Many questions arise such as will cpc’s go up? What search partner sites will I show up on? One of the most daunting questions is how will the merger affect my traffic and my ROI? There is one answer for all of these questions. The answer is only time will tell.
The much anticipated search engine merger of the year was announced earlier this week. According to Computer World, and others, Yahoo and Microsoft will officially join forces in the search engine world. According, to PC Pro, Microsoft’s Ballmer says, “The ten-year deal will see Microsoft’s Bing put to work powering Yahoo’s searches. In return, Yahoo will take over selling premium advertising for the two companies, with a revenue-sharing deal in place.” What does this mean for advertisers? There are pro’s and con’s depending on how it pans out.
Let look at the pro’s first. The merger between Yahoo and Microsoft should spur creativity and innovations. Both search engines have experience with search and display advertising; now they can collaborate on new ideas and thoughts on improving search engine advertising options.
Speaking of improvement, it might affect cpc bidding for the better. If Yahoo is going to be reaching more people, then advertisers might start migrating more of their advertising budgets to Yahoo. If that happens, cpc’s in Google could ultimately drop, especially since Google claims that part of ad ranking depends on your competitor’s cpc bid. It would definitely be a win for certain industries that currently have to bid significant dollars in Google for a keyword, in order to get first page ranking.
On the contrary, cpc’s could increase since there will only be two major players competing. It could change to “here’s the cpc price” take it or leave it. This would drive businesses with smaller budgets to look for cheaper ways to advertise online, whether they advertise on more niche search engines or look more seriously at the social media avenues of advertisement.
Time will tell whether this search engine partnership will be a success for all or only for some. I’m hoping it’ll be a success for all, especially for search engine advertisers. It should be interesting to see how Google responds to the Yahoo and Microsoft announcement.
Forrester Research purchased rival Jupiter Research for $23 million. The deal unites two of the major names in technology research and analysis. Both companies specialize in research and advice for IT firms and manufacturers. Jupiter will be absorbed into Forrester’s marketing and strategy client group, and both companies will operate under the single Forrester banner. Forrester plans to bring in all of Jupiter’s employees and clients. Prior to the purchase, Jupiter had 82 employees. In 2007, the company logged revenues of roughly $14 million. Forrester has some 1,000 employees, and brought in around $212 million in revenue last year.
Not only has Forrester absorbed one of their main competitors, but they have likely improved their services. Jupiter has built out a pretty niche market for them in providing very detailed analytical reporting for many aspects of SEO and SEM.