The Effect of the Yahoo/Microsoft Deal on Your Website
You've probably heard about the Yahoo/Microsoft deal. This will have a major impact on the search engine landscape and there definitely will be effects on your website rankings and the number of visitors that your website will get.
The basic facts:
Yahoo is going to give up their own search technology and use Microsoft's search technology instead. Bing.com will power the organic and the paid search results on Yahoo (except for premium ads on Yahoo).
Self-serve advertising (i.e. the AdWords competitor) will be managed by Microsoft's AdCenter. Microsoft will get access to Yahoo's search technology and can use it to improve its own search technology.
What does this mean for your website?
You should optimize for Bing.com.Yahoo/Bing will have a search market share of at least 15% (that's the current market share of MSN and Yahoo combined - some statistics show a much higher market share).If you do not optimize some of your website pages for Bing, you'll lose a lot of visitors and sales. Fortunately, IBP's top 10 optimizer already enables you to optimize your website for Bing.The optimizer works with the US version of Bing as well as with many country versions. Recent research has shown that Bing's traffic is more likely to convert.
Yahoo's inbound link data will probably be lost.Yahoo is the search engine that currently returns the most inbound link data. When Yahoo drops its index, that data will probably be lost. We recommend using IBP's link manager if you want to get an overview of the websites that link to your website.The link manager in IBP will retrieve all links that are returned by Yahoo, Bing, Google and other search engines.
A big PPC provider will be gone, an even bigger provider will appear.Microsoft will provide the search ads for Yahoo and Bing. Yahoo will close its own paid search offerings. That means that you will be able to manage your ads for both Yahoo and Bing in one user interface. It probably also means rising bid prices on Yahoo and Bing.
Yahoo might close some of their websites.Yahoo might put its Internet directory into question as well as their alternative search applications SearchMonkey and SearchBOSS. Applications such as Yahoo Maps might also be reconsidered because Bing offers similar services.
There will be two independent search result pages.Yahoo will have full control over the user interface of their search form. The ordering of the results, the layout and the whole search focus can be different from Bing. That means that you still might have to optimize your website for both search engines.
The deal still needs shareholder and legal approval. Yahoo and Microsoft hope that the changes will be in place by early 2010. If you want to participate from the change as soon as possible, you should optimize some of your web pages for Bing now.
Optimize different pages of your website for different search engines and different keywords. What works with one search engine might not work with another. Optimize each web page for a dedicated search engine/keyword combination to get better results.