Yahoo! and Bing Search Marketing Agreement - What’s the Deal?

Anjali McKenzie, Former UX Researcher

Article Category: #Strategy

Posted on

Ever since the announcement that Bing and Yahoo! will fold into one search engine, there have been a lot of questions as to when exactly this will happen, what it means for advertisers, how it will affect users, and whether it will hurt Google.  I have spent some time trying to find answers to these questions, and thought I’d share what I found.

Most important to note is that the transition from Yahoo! to Bing will take anywhere from 12-24 months, starting in the US and then expanding to other regions. Therefore, advertisers’ and users need not worry about it just yet! When the transition is finally complete, here are some key points to know.

What exactly does the agreement entail?

  • Yahoo! will adopt Bing’search engine.
  • Yahoo! will take control of premium search advertising for both Yahoo! and Bing (Current Yahoo! premium advertisers have a dedicated sales team).
  • Display advertising on other Microsoft and Yahoo! properties (such as Yahoo! finance) will not be affected – only search ads.

How will this affect search marketers?

  • Advertisers will now use Microsoft’s AdCenter platform to manage both Bing and Yahoo! Search campaigns.
  • Advertisers buying through AdCenter will have no control as to whether their ad appears on Bing or Yahoo! Search.
  • Advertisers should benefit by only having to work with two search platforms versus three. 

How will this affect users?

  • Users will benefit from being able to search a larger ad inventory. This means there will be chance of finding a relevant ad for a search, which will hopefully give users an overall better search experience.
  • Users will still be able to search via Yahoo! or Bing. Yahoo! will keep its interface and functionality, as well as its “Yahoo! Search” brand, but it will have a “Powered by Bing” logo at the bottom of the page.

Yahoo! and Bing will probably never overtake search leader Google, who (along with its partners) currently owns about 73% of the market, according to ComScore.  However, the agreement may help Bing make a dent in Google’s market share, perhaps forcing Google to improve and innovate in order maintain or increase its share. 

Despite a few drawbacks (such as not being able to pick which search engine your ad appears on), I believe the agreement is a good thing. Not only will it make the lives of advertisers a little easier (managing two instead of three networks), but it also lays the foundation for a more competitive and innovative search landscape. I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the search market once the transition is complete!    


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