As I tweeted on the TechWyse Twitter feed this past week, European and US regulators have given approval to the Yahoo!-Bing search deal in their respective markets, paving the way for the two search engines to combine operations and technologies in to one search engine program.
What Is It All About?
Yahoo! and Bing/Bing have long been the numbers 2 and 3 players in the search engine field, lagging far behind Google in search engine market share. While changes in market share do occur, these changes have never been drastic enough to affect Google’s dominance and restore a large portion of the search market to either Yahoo or Bing.
The two companies have decided that pooling their resources and market share into one would be a better solution to the dominance of Google in the search engine field. According to Yahoo’s numbers, it will result in 62% more search users over their current levels, or around 150 million searchers.
How Does It Affect Me?
First of all, there will be no immediate change to either search engine because of this agreement alone. The merger is expected to be completed by the end of 2010, or even early 2011 if that’s what the companies decide is needed.
In terms of the web user experience, it won’t affect you either. Yahoo! and Bing will continue to exist as “separate” search engines and web domains. The merger affects the search software on the back end, meaning the two domains will be powered by the same program for both organic and paid searches. Under this assumption, the only change you may notice if you pay close enough attention, is the results on both search engines may reflect each other closer than previously.
How Does It Affect My Paid Search?
For advertisers using both paid search platforms this will save you or your internet marketing company a lot of time and effort, as well as money (well, if you’re paying separate management fees for both!). It may cost you the same or more if you do your PPC work in-house or on your own, as actual click numbers and per-click costs can vary between the two.
Both pay per click platforms will be powered by the Bing AdCenter program, which currently displays ads on Microsoft’s Bing search engine. This means you will need to create and optimize only one account for both PPC platforms instead of two, you will need to track only one referring source in your analytics program instead of two, and you will need to add conversion code for only one platform instead of two.
You should also see a higher total numbers in terms of impressions, clicks, and conversions in your AdCenter account should you combine your Yahoo! and Bing budgets in to one larger budget, as all PPC data from the two search engines will be combined into this one account.
The partnership should not drastically affect the way you work in the AdCenter platform, if at all. For now, no major changes have been announced and it would be safe to assume that the two companies will want to make the transition as comfortable and easy as possible.
Reaction To The Partnership
I can’t wait for this deal to be finalized and the Bing AdCenter to take over all PPC work for the two companies. I’ve really come to like the AdCenter platform (behind AdWords, of course), and Bing has done some good work in improving the ease of use of the platform. It’s not perfect, but it is miles ahead of where it once was, and is certainly easier to use than Yahoo! Search Marketing at this point in time.
Im sure other search marketing professionals would agree. Bring it on!