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.
On May 28, 2009 Microsoft Ad Network unveiled Bing. Bing is a new decision engine and consumer brand that is set to provide searchers with the initial step in moving beyond search to help make quicker decisions while online (hence decision making engine). Bing was designed to do more than what current search engines do. Instead of having to click through a listing to see a website, Bing goes to the next step by providing a summary of a website with a preview tool. This enables users to quickly decide which website matches their query by eliminating clicks in and out of different sites. The user experience and instinctive tools were intended to help consumers make better and faster decisions and focuses on four major areas: making a purchase decision, planning a trip, researching a health condition or finding a local business.
Bing is here to help users easily navigate through the overload of information on the web. Part of Microsoft’s study that helped the creation of Bing included results from a custom comScore Inc. study across core search engines which shows that as many as 30 percent of searches are abandoned without a satisfactory result. The data also indicated that approximately two-thirds of the remaining searches required a refinement or re-query on the search results page.
As Microsoft began building Bing, they kept in mind an understanding of how people really want to use the Web. Bing is Microsoft’s first step toward an effort to bring advancements in search that enables people to find information swiftly and use the information they’ve found to accomplish tasks and make smarter decisions. If you are already a Microsoft Ad Network customer, your ads are being exposed to the searchers of Bing. So depending on your product, you may want to modify your existing ads and make sure that you have strong, straight to the point call to actions for an engine that promotes quick decisions.