Yahoo informed its advertisers via email that it would commence implementing the organic results from searches made with Microsoft’s Bing Engine. This notice implies an upcoming merge between the two following a deal, signed last July 2009. The email also mentions Yahoo’s intention to transfer the paid search ads to Microsoft’s adCenter, which should take place before the holidays. However, a delay is possible for 2011 depending on the judgment regarding advertiser and user experience as a whole.
For those who own websites this might be a good time to monitor their traffic from searches and see if Yahoo or Bing users are affected. In addition, a good idea might be to compare both engines’ rankings and come up with new strategies if any big differences occur.
The email states that presently the webmasters do not need special preparations for such tests but they should make sure their websites are optimized for Bing searches. In addition, most of the important logistics are tested offline, but this month’s live tests will also include Microsoft’s organic and paid search results.
The goal of this is to transfer algorithmic and paid searches before the end of 2010 and start external tests. The customers will be the first ones informed in detail regarding these tests; therefore, Yahoo is not yet ready to take questions by webmasters but will gladly do so at the appropriate moment.
Within this timeframe, the tested amounts will vary and in particular, the paid searches will be low enough to prevent any potential influence on the user accounts. If the tests bring steady high quality results, that would probably lead to the usage of Bing for organic searches somewhere between August and September.
The Agreement with Microsoft
Last July, the two companies agreed to a partnership, whose worth is around $700 000 000. The terms of this agreement state that for the duration of 10 years, Microsoft’s adCenter will handle Yahoo and Bing searches for self-served advertisements, where Yahoo will provide the license for its search technology and the Panama system for buying ads, but will still control the premium human ads on sites, owned by both companies.
According to the agreement, the first year and a half of the merge Microsoft will provide Yahoo’s revenues from searches in all countries, where the union was implemented, and the first five years eighty eight percent of its own and operational properties, generating revenues from searches. This deal excludes image ads, which both Yahoo and Microsoft will continue displaying separately.
Yahoo claims that this merge will not eliminate it as a search engine, but simply reduce the costs (less staff needed) and enable the sale of more advertisements for more money, since the combined product would be much more interesting.