What the Yahoo & Microsoft Search Alliance Means For You

It was in July 2009 that Microsoft and Yahoo announced their 10-year search alliance intended to inspire innovation in order to battle against search giant Google. A year and a half later, Microsoft’s Bing is now officially powering Yahoo’s search engine in the U.S. and Canada. Bing made the announcement on their Community Blog on August 24, 2010 that only English is supported for now, with other languages coming in the weeks and months ahead. “This is a great milestone for Bing and Yahoo and our customers, and we are happy to report the transition has gone smoothly and we feel great about the progress our search alliance has been making over the summer,” says Satya Nadella, senior vice president of Microsoft’s online services division.

The search and advertising agreement was for Microsoft’s Bing to power Yahoo’s search engine, while Yahoo’s sales team will support high volume advertisers. In addition, Microsoft Advertising adCenter will be the platform for all search campaigns. “Advertisers will be able to advertise on Yahoo Search, Bing and partner sites with one ad buy through Microsoft Advertising adCenter, giving advertisers of all sizes access to a combined audience of 559 million searchers worldwide,” says the official website at searchalliance.com. adCenter is expected to go live by end of October.

So what does this mean for you? For businesses that wish to rank well in organic search results, the Yahoo Search Marketing blog recommends three tips:

  1. Review your organic search rankings on Yahoo Search for the keywords that work best for you and note any differences in your rank, now that the results are being powered by Bing.
  2. Decide if you’d like to modify your paid search campaigns to compensate for any changes in organic referrals that you anticipate.
  3. Review the Bing webmaster tools and optimize your website for the Microsoft platform crawler, as Bing listings will be displayed for approximately 30% of search queries after this change, according to comScore.