What You Need to Know About the Yahoo! and Bing Alliance

I have been trying to keep you updated on the Yahoo! and Bing Search Alliance (see my post titled “Yahoo! and Microsoft Alliance” from March 2010)….But whether you know it’s happening or not, Bing is starting to power the Yahoo! search results page and by October they plan on having the entire process rolled out to all users. Yahoo! and Bing have both stated that IF for SOME REASON they believe that things will not be working correctly and this update will disrupt the Holiday season advertising, they will wait to roll out everything in 2011 after the Holiday season is over.

What does all this really mean? Well, Yahoo! and Bing are now working together to provide users with the best and most accurate search results. After this update is completed, when you search in Yahoo! you will see the same exact natural/organic listings in Bing as you will in Yahoo! And for those paid search advertisers, you will be able to advertise in Yahoo! and Bing from the one Microsoft adCenter platform.

Why are they doing this? Let’s be honest…. Google is STILL the 900 lb gorilla of the search world and they control 62.6% of the market. Bing launched last year with its “small” advertising budget of only $100 million and they started winning over people quickly by providing engaging and accurate results.

According to comScore in June 2009 Google had 65% of the market, Yahoo! had 19.6% and Bing had 8.4%. Now in June 2010, exactly a year later,  comScore states that Google holds 62.6%, Yahoo! has 18.9% and Bing has 12.7%. With Yahoo! and Bing joining forces,  they now will control 31.6% of the market!! That is not a small percentage AND to make things even easier for advertisers, they are allowing us to manage  SEO and PPC campaigns on one platform.

What do you need to do to prepare for this update? If you didn’t even know this was happening and you are now freaking out…. Don’t worry! Things will be okay! Just this month Bing started testing their system with Yahoo! and they have told users you MAY see the same organic search results in Yahoo! as you do in Bing. The Bayshore E-marketing department has been testing this and has been fortunate enough to see the same listings in both search engines on some occasions. Below are some tips and dates to keep in mind while all of these changes are being made:

1. In August and September, they will be testing and rolling out the natural/organic listings so that they are the same in both search engines. What you need to do….

  • Be prepared to see that your website traffic from Yahoo! may decrease and Bing will increase while they are doing this testing.
  • Make sure your website is verified with Bing Webmaster Tools.
  •  Check your rankings in Bing and adjust your SEO campaign if necessary. Make sure you are prepared for any increase/decrease in traffic that may come along with this change.

2. In September and October, they will be testing and rolling out the paid search listings so that ads are displayed in both search engines and bidding will be done from one platform. For paid search marketers there are A LOT of changes you need to prepare for…..

  • If you do not have an adCenter account, you need to get one ASAP! Advertisers will ONLY be able to manage paid search campaigns in adCenter
  • Begin setting up your Bing PPC campaign now and start running it so you can build up some historical data.
  • Do you have a Google Adwords campaign running? Good! As of right now it is easy to copy a Google campaign into Bing….. BUT Google may catch on to this and make it more difficult to do. So, it is important to get this done ASAP to make it easier on you in the long run.
  • You do NOT want to just copy over your Yahoo! campaign into Bing – Bing and Yahoo! have MANY different settings and it will be more difficult to try to copy over a Yahoo! campaign than it will be to just start a new campaign or copy over a Google campaign.

3. Make sure everyone involved in online marketing for your company and the people who are responsible for yearly budgets know this change is happening. There will be some increases/decreases in traffic from Yahoo! and Bing over the next few months and by October you should have a new plan and budget prepared for this change.

As a search marketer, I am personally VERY excited about this alliance. Being able to market to over 30% of searchers from one platform will make my life A LOT easier and will make it better for my clients to expand their reach. It is also exciting to see these 2 companies take on Google….. and they actually are cutting into their market share!! Changes like this help make the online marketing world more interesting and I am excited to see what the market shares look like this time next year….


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