bing and yahoo partnership

Search Alliance integration

By Paul Morris
Last week Yahoo’s natural results were given a jolt from the Microsoft defibrillator as they started to be powered by Bing in the UK (the Search Alliance AKA Bingoo!)

The natural response from many will be – who cares? Well I care and I will tell you why you should care too!

If you do want to rank on Yahoo then you now need to target the Bing algorithm. Whilst you should broadly never optimise for a search engine (optimise for the user darling!) there are some optimisation techniques on Bing that have a larger impact than on Google – as an example Bing is more sensitive to fresh inbound link acquisition hence take heed.

For now Yahoo PPC results are unaffected however due to the change you should monitor and react to the change in landscape. As highlighted in a recent Google cannibalisation case study, paid search ads on average gave an 89% incremental lift in site visitors when used together – above and beyond traffic you would normally expect from your organic listings. As a result if your natural search results have changed in the transition from Yahoo to Bing you need to understand/ test by changing your joint SEO optimisation and PPC bidding strategies accordingly.

Whilst Bing and Yahoo together only have 8% marketshare in the UK that’s still 1/12 of a very large search pie. Also if you consider the longer term there could be a possible shift in search engine market use. Bing and Yahoo have a more sizeable 30% market share in the US and where US consumers go the UK consumer often follows. If you then couple this with the $millions that are being ploughed into Bing dev (e.g. the Bing Ipad app, Project Emporia new approach to personalisation, partnerships with sites such as DealMap that brings great promotions from sites such as Groupon + Living Social and innovative tweaks such as mall maps) it’s a good idea to take note of Bing.

My final point is one of also making sure you are prepared for the Yahoo – Bing PPC switchover (they will give advertisers at least 2 week’s notice). There are differences between the two systems e.g. reporting formats, match types, adcentre desktop editor, geo targeting techniques, etc hence it’s important you understand the system nuances and prepare.