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….
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.
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.
Yahoo recently announced that, “Assuming our testing continues to yield high quality results, we anticipate that our organic search results will be powered by Bing beginning in the August/September timeframe.” This is sooner than most people expected, but what does this actually mean?
Bing and Yahoo will be functioning as two separate entities, meaning there will still be www.bing.com and www.yahoo.com, but the Yahoo organic search results will essentially be served via Bing’s algorithm. To the average user, this shift will not mean much, but to SEOs, it could potentially mean a great deal. For one thing, Bing simply do not have the same amount of data that Yahoo possesses, so the literal “amount” of results for a particular search query won’t be as robust as Yahoo’s. Also, many webmasters will notice distinctly different results in terms of ranking in both Yahoo and Bing, so webmasters who don’t get high rankings in Bing as they do in Yahoo may want to consider adopting more “Bing friendly” SEO strategies. The trouble with that is; nobody knows for sure what the real differences between Bing and Yahoo are in terms of which signals they use in their respective algorithms. As of right now, the most appropriate strategy is to study one’s current positions in Bing and see which pages are ranking better. Bing also has guidelines on how to optimize your website, such as this page for their SEO guidelines: Search Engine Optimization for Bing.