After much anticipation Yahoo! and Microsoft have announced a search deal to help the two companies stand up against the formidable power of Google.
Yahoo! have recently revamped the new home page in a bid to be more user friendly, guiding the public through the internet rather than providing information. The collaboration with MSN will see the Yahoo! search engine being powered by Microsoft, and Yahoo! are to become the sales team behind Microsoft’s online offering.
In the search market, this is a positive move for both Yahoo! and Microsoft. If Bing lives up to the hype of it’s launch, can only be a positive move. Now fully launched in the US, Bing is steadily growing by 25% per week (on average), now accounting for 6.6% of total US searches. Yahoo! currently accounts for 16% of searches, bringing the potential combined share of 22%. By taking nearly a quarter of searches, the combined efforts of Yahoo! and Microsoft pose a real threat for Google.
In the UK there is a similar but weaker story; Bing market share may have increased initially, but depending on your source, combined with Yahoo!, they cannot claim more than 11% of UK searches.
For paid search management this could be a great move forwards - will the search platforms be combined? Who knows, but this is looking like a distinct probability. With the smooth operating of Microsoft’s Search Marketing Platform, it could now become easier and more effective and worthwhile to put your marketing budgets into smaller networks.
The Yahoo! sales force have a battle on their hands to convince advertisers investing on what has been a poorly performing platform over the last few years, but as an agency, we finally have the answer to our screams – more volume from Bing! Slightly ironically, in the bid to get more users interacting with Bing, Microsoft are driving traffic via Google AdWords.