Microsoft and Yahoo! are looking to secure a 10 year deal where Microsoft’s Bing search technology would power the search and search advertising platform for all Yahoo! properties and Yahoo! would manage search advertising sales for both companies’ premium customers. If approved by regulators, the new joint effort would increase the efficiency of both companies, allow both Microsoft and Yahoo! to scale more effectively and give Google some serious competition.
From an organic search prospective, this deal could affect how websites currently rank and drive traffic in both Bing and Yahoo!. With the deal, Microsoft will acquire an exclusive 10 year license to Yahoo!’s core search technologies, which it could incorporate some of Yahoo!’s algorithm into Bing. According to the press release, full implementation is expected to occur 24 months after regulatory approval, so it could be quite some time until any changes occur. Once fully implemented, search engine ranking positions should be similar in both Bing and Yahoo!, but traffic volume from each will differ based on Yahoo!’s larger market share. Search marketers will need to be aware of how to segment traffic and rankings during this transitional period (especially if the Bing user agent is used for both Bing and Yahoo).
More information on the deal can be found at Microsoft and Yahoo!’s official joint website.