Yahoo organic search results will be powered by Bing come Sept

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Post 3+ Months Ago

While this isn't exactly new news, I thought it would be important to discuss how soon about 30% of the organic search results on Yahoo will all be powered by Bing. According to the e-mail below from Yahoo! this could happen sometime between August and September of 2010:

Yahoo! wrote:

Transition with Quality

Our goal remains providing a quality transition experience for advertisers in the U.S. and Canada in 2010, while protecting the holiday season. We've continued to make good progress against this goal, and we regularly evaluate our progress. However, please remember that, as we continue to go through our series of checkpoints, if we conclude that it would improve the overall experience, we may choose to defer the transition to 2011.

Organic Search Transition

To date, we've focused most of our communications to you on the paid search transition to adCenter. However, another key aspect of the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance is the transition of Yahoo! organic search results (those found on the main body of the page). Assuming our testing continues to yield high quality results, we anticipate that our organic search results will be powered by Bing beginning in the August/September timeframe.

If organic search results are an important source of referrals to your website, you'll want to make sure that you're prepared for this change:

  • Compare your organic search rankings on Yahoo! Search and Bing for the keywords that drive your business, to help determine any potential impact to your traffic and sales
  • Decide if you'd like to modify your paid search campaigns to compensate for any changes in organic referrals that you anticipate
  • Review the Bing webmaster tools and optimize your website for the Bing crawler, as Bing results will be displayed for approximately 30%* of overall search query market share after this change

For more specifics on the organic search transition, please refer to the Self-service Advertiser FAQs on the Yahoo! Transition Center.

If you glance at the FAQs it also says this:

In regard to my sites listing within organic results, will it be identical on Yahoo! Search and Bing?

For your site’s listing, the Bing engine will provide Yahoo! Search with your page title, description, URL and any quick links. Yahoo! must use the page title and URL, but can truncate the description and either use, suppress or replace the quick links that are provided. If you have used Yahoo! Search Monkey to use structured data that makes your Yahoo! Search result more useful, visually appealing and effective, those enhancements will continue to automatically appear even after Bing is providing the results.

You might also experience other differences as Yahoo! Search and Bing each enhance their results with other helpful information and may choose to display it differently. Example: Bing provides the five nearest stores to the searcher, whereas Yahoo! Search displays just the closest store and its hours of operation. In this way, your site listing will always have some information that is consistent across both Yahoo! Search and Bing, but it is also likely to have some content that differs, as well.

I for one, welcome this change. Out of the three major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!), Ozzu receive the smallest amount from Yahoo and I believe it has to do with their algorithm, how they rank sites, and their lack of relevancy compared to the other search engines. So for my situation I expect that this might increase traffic when their organic search results will start being powered by Bing. For some reason I have always had trouble getting Ozzu to rank for webmaster forum on Yahoo!, yet on both Google and Bing its on page one where it should be as Ozzu is one of the larger, higher quality webmaster forums on the Internet. So I am curious if Ozzu will start ranking for that term once results are powered by Bing.

For the most part when I search for things I usually use Google as I have found that they generally provide the highest quality results and will return things I am actually looking for. Over the last few months however, I have noticed that it seems a bit harder to find the exact thing you are looking for especially when your search query contains 3 or more words. I think Google is now trying to show results for things that they think you might really be looking for instead of finding exact matches. For me when I type something in Google I expect that page to have the exact words I am search for, not synonyms or related words. So with that said every now and then when I cannot find what I am looking for using Google, I will use Bing and have actually noticed that the type of results they show seem fairly relevant and sometimes I can find what I am looking for there. I have also tried Yahoo and I hardly ever get anything relevant there, at least not compared to Google or Bing.

So with this update coming in the near future it will appear that there will be really two major search engines that websites will rank for, as Yahoo will being using results powered by Bing.

Curious as to what your thoughts are and how this might impact you?
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Sounds good to me. Over the last year my traffic from Bing and Yahoo has been going in two different directions. For me, this will be like Bing picking up some of Yahoo's slack on the way up the stairs.

Other than volume, every other aspect of my Bing and Yahoo traffic is nearly the same. The number of pages per visit, the bounce rate, the time on site, percentage of new visits, etc. They all line up. So again, this will be a lot like having Bing just picking up Yahoo's slack in my case.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This appears to have begun transition this week:

Starting this week, searchers on Yahoo will start to see a little "Powered by Bing" message at the bottom of the results page, as the two companies start the public phase of their huge search deal completed last year.
Yahoo announced the milestone along with several updates to various search products and features that had been up in the air ever since Yahoo and Microsoft signed their search outsourcing deal just over a year ago. Under that deal, Microsoft is to provide the back-end crawling, listing, and ranking technologies that generate search results while Yahoo retains responsibility for presenting those results on search pages.

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