Microsoft Finally Buys Yahoo! Paid & Organic Search

Paid & Organic Search

Organic and Paid Search Just Became a Two Horse Race

As previously announced on this blog, the much speculated deal between Microsoft and Yahoo! has finally been announced.  Yahoo! has finally given up on search and Microsoft is now firmly in control of much more visitor data than they ever have before. 

A quick summary of the deal announced Wednesday July 29th 2009:

  • The deal has a 10 year term.
  • Yahoo! has agreed to use Microsoft search technology and paid search on the Yahoo! platform. 
  • Microsoft will pay Yahoo! an 88% commission on all revenues received on Yahoo! for the first 5 years.
  • Yahoo! will maintain control of sales for advertising on Yahoo! and some portions of Microsoft.

What Are The Benefits? – The Real Skinny

In layman’s terms here are the key things that you really need to know about this deal:

Benefits For Yahoo!

  • Yahoo! maintains control over the sales of advertising on their own properties but are now using Microsoft’s search technology in every way.
  • Yahoo! is saving about $200 million dollars in research and development.  Money they no longer need to spend on their own search technology.
  • Yahoo! will receive 88% of all revenue from search done on their own properties for the first 5 years. So shareholders will be very happy about retaining virtually all revenue.
  • Yahoo! no longer has to support its own search software

Benefits For Microsoft

  • Microsoft will now retain all visitor information. 
  • Microsoft will now have far greater market share.  A greater backbone in developing both the Bing search product and Microsoft AdCenter platform.
  • All paid seach will now be managed through Microsoft AdCenter.

Watch Video of Both Microsoft and Yahoo! CEO’s Talking About The Deal 


Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer


Cutting To The Chase

Both sides are getting exactly what they need.  Yahoo! will actually receive an increase in revenue and will retain perceived control over the sales process.  Shareholders of the company will be happy about this.

Microsoft wants control over market share at this point so that they can support the continued technology improvements of both Bing and paid search component – AdCenter. 

Paid search advocate at TechWyse, Matthew Hogan is happy with Microsoft taking control of paid search. “Yahoo! has put very little research and development into the paid search interface (dubbed Panama) since its release.  Microsoft AdCenter has been showing continued improvement since its initial release and has many improvements over even Google Adwords interface.  I expect this news to ensure the continued improvement of the paid search landscape and also for the first time – a legitimate player to faceoff against Google.”

While it may appear that Yahoo! increases revenue, the real value here long term is that Yahoo! has stapled any threat of Microsoft taking greater market share and Microsoft is now assured long term market share and vast samples of data to improve the overall search experience.  Microsoft can begin trying to put itself on equal ground with Google.

Microsoft now has access depending on who you talk to of about 15%-30% of the market.  They have quite a ways to go.  But this is the biggest step Microsoft has ever taken in competing with Google.

Let the games begin.


Post By DJ Kennedy (153 Posts)

DJ has been a high profile Internet Marketer since 2001. He is the CEO of TechWyse and as a passionate member of the internet marketing industry is a key contributor on the 'Rise To The Top' Blog.

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Post a Comment


  • avatar

    Interesting that Microsoft is trying to make ripples in the Search field. Releasing Bing, buying Yahoo search engine…what next? As DJ pointed out what matters ultimately is how it is going to help Searchers. It is them who decide. They look for simplicity, easeness & accuracy of search result!

  • avatar

    With only 8% of the US search market, Microsoft must do this deal if it wants to have any chance to build a meaningful search business, then in as much as Microsoft is committed to building and maintaining an excellent platform, it is better for Yahoo and Microsoft to combine forces and build a credible alternative platform to Google.

  • avatar

    Microsoft’s deal with Yahoo has already stirred controversy and concerns in all SEO circles.
    Is this deal a threat to Google?
    No way…Google needn’t fear as long it’s main competitors will not change their basic search habits. Virtually now two in the frame-Google & Microsoft/Yahoo, and this makes things more favorable to Google.

  • avatar

    Nice post Heidi. A market change? I dont think there will be anything big immediately but this no doubt is going to allow Microsoft the audience to warrant continuous improvement of their own innovations. The result will hopefully mean a better product for us searchers! In the end we are the ones that matter aren’t we?

  • avatar
    Heidi Timberlake 


    Bingy! deal…
    Yahoo thinks that it can take mileage out from Bing’s search potential to really challenge search bellwether Google as a consumer search offering. I think Yahoo didn’t have a better choice than this. Will it cause a real search market change?
    Are we going to witness greater ROI in search marketing campaigns in the coming months?
    Only time tell on these points…

  • avatar

    It’s good that after protracted negotiations running over several months, a deal has finally been brokered. Definitely, it’s a win- win -situation for both I feel. Google, despite its enormous clout in the search segment, will hence need to take on the combined might of both Microsoft and Yahoo. Yahoo and Microsoft have now won a small battle; but the war is yet to begin.

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