According to a recent report by Advertising Age, an exciting new deal is in the pipeline between Yahoo! and Microsoft. If it goes ahead, Yahoo! will use Microsoft’s Bing as its search engine instead of its own, effectively joining forces to become a more serious competitor to Google.
The deal could have a huge impact on Search Engine Optimisation. comScore reported that Google commanded an impressive 65% share of the search engine market share in June, while Yahoo! and Bing held 19.6% and 8.4% respectively. If all of the current Yahoo! users were to continue using Yahoo! via Bing, their combined share would reach 28%, which could really begin to challenge Google in the future.
So what does this mean for your SEO? A number of possible things. If your website currently ranks well in Yahoo! but not in Bing or Google you could really be in trouble of not ranking at all. Alternatively, a website at the top of Bing and Google but not for Yahoo! could see a considerable increase in traffic, as Yahoo! users will now see their site via Bing’s engine instead.
Pay Per Click advertising could also see a major change. Either Yahoo! Search Marketing will be replaced by Microsoft adCenter, or the two will merge. This could affect the Cost Per Click and positioning for many of the Sponsored Links found when a search query is made.
In recent years, Google has been criticised for its strict rules and T&Cs as well as its somewhat monopolistic nature towards the World Wide Web. This is fairly understandable, given that two-thirds of all Internet searches are run through them. However the Ying/Bahoo! engine could encourage Google to relax or change some of its policies and prices, especially if the combined alternative becomes popular enough to claw away some of Google’s dominant market share. This could have a radical effect on AdWords, AdSense and other Google services in the way that they’re operated and managed - perhaps a potential sigh of relief to many search engine marketers.
Overall, the important thing to understand is that change could be on the way, with this new partnership being a possible indication of things to come. Anyone who believes that Google will remain the king of the search engines forever will be hugely unprepared if Bing and Yahoo! meet or even overtake its share of the search engine market. Of course this might not happen at all, but it’s best to be ready, just in case.