The big news in the press today is the Microsoft/Yahoo deal. I have already received questions about this from a couple of clients, so I thought it best to expand here.
In the deal the search brand at Yahoo will remain to be “Yahoo Search” but it will be “Powered by Bing.” There will be no immediate changes however until they get regulatory approval, following approval the integration effort will move forward (expected early 2010).
What about allocating advertising dollars?
In the deal it appears that some mix of Yahoo Marketing and Microsoft AdCenter advertising will continue. It was reported that Yahoo ads will continue to run in the Yahoo properties with Microsoft getting 12% of the revenue and some Yahoo ads will be syndicated over the Microsoft network. Bing will run ads on Microsoft properties (and may run some ads on the Yahoo network as well), but the details are unclear at this point. It will take some time for all this to shake out, with conversions rates ultimately determining where ad dollars will need to be spent.
What about optimizing for Bing?
This is really a non-starter, Google’s market share is so large that doing anything that could compromise your traffic from that engine would be a mistake. Unless Bing’s market share increases more than just picking up Yahoo traffic, there is really no point – as long as the feature sets remain similar. If features emerge that are unique to Bing, and could be supported without impacting your Google traffic, then optimizing for those features would be in order.