Yahoo! and Bing Search Alliance

- Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bing will begin to power the English language organic search results on Yahoo! Search in the U.S. and Canada. As Yahoo! continues to work closely with Microsoft to implement the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance, Yahoo! have started testing organic (also referred to as algorithmic) and paid search listings from Microsoft for up to 25 percent of Yahoo! Search traffic in the U.S. and Canada. The primary change for these tests is that the listings are coming from Microsoft. However, the overall page should look the same as the Yahoo! Search. The below screenshot of a test, the boxed areas of the search results page are coming from Microsoft’s platform, while the rest of the page is still powered by Yahoo!

Yahoo! and Bing Search Alliance

The Yahoo! and Bing search alliance covers algorithmic search (web, image and video), search advertising and contextual advertising. It does not include other aspects of display advertising, vertical searches or site searches, such as queries on Flickr or Yahoo! News etc.

Microsoft (Bing) will be responsible for the algorithmic search serving platform used by both search engines, including web, image and video results. Microsoft will also be responsible for the search advertising platform that will be used by both search engines (adCenter), and will manage the search advertising marketplace. Yahoo! will provide Microsoft with an exclusive 10-year license to certain Yahoo! search technologies. Yahoo! will also deliver a differentiated search experience for its users by innovating around the listings it receives from Microsoft by integrating Yahoo! content, shortcuts and tools.

Unlike the paid search transition, there is nothing you need to do in advance of the organic search transition. The organic search transition will happen automatically when Yahoo! and Microsoft have completed systems integration and testing. It is possible that the current ranking of any website on Yahoo! Search will change when Yahoo’s organic search results are powered by Bing. Once the transition occurs, website ranking will be based on how the Bing engine indexes and ranks the relevance of a website for a particular search query, as Yahoo! cannot change the order of the listings it receives. The current Bing search results are a good indicator of how a website may rank on Yahoo! post-transition.

Bing’s website provides a robust set of materials on search engine optimization (SEO). An SEO webmaster’s toolbox can be found at It provides webmasters with valuable information on organizing web site content and using non-paying methods, to help improve your site’s ranking in search engine results.

In the coming months, Yahoo! will also be integrating Microsoft’s mobile organic and paid search listings, so Yahoo! Mobile search fans in the U.S. and Canada will also eventually see Microsoft organic and paid search listings on their phones. Yahoo! anticipate that it’s U.S. and Canada organic search listings in both desktop and mobile experiences will be fully powered by the Microsoft platform beginning in the August/September timeframe, and paid search in October.

Organic search update and tips

A key aspect of the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance is the transition of Yahoo! organic search listings (those found on the main body of the page). If organic search is important to a business, here are three valuable tips to help make sure they’re prepared:

  • Compare your organic search rankings on Yahoo! Search and Bing for the keywords that work best for you.
  • 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 Microsoft platform crawler, as Bing listings will be displayed for approximately 30% of search queries after this change, according to comScore.

In mid-July, Yahoo! began testing the delivery of organic results from Bing to Yahoo! Search, which may gradually increase to up to 25% of Yahoo! Search traffic. Yahoo visitors in the U.S. and Canada will start seeing a “Powered by Bing” message at the bottom of Yahoo’s search results page. Please note that testing volumes will fluctuate during this period.

Now is the time to ensure you’ve got your search engine optimization (SEO) ducks in a row, you don't want to miss out on tapping into the potential to reach those 159 million searchers that will be viewing Bing organic search results in the U.S. (15 million in Canada). If you're not already familiar with Bing webmaster tools, they can help you optimize the crawling and indexing of your site, submit sitemaps and view statistics about your sites. Not only that, you can improve your site's relevance within the Bing organic search results, which could help increase your customer engagement.

Yahoo! Site Explorer team is planning tighter integration between Site Explorer and Bing Webmaster Center to make the transition as smooth as possible. However, you should continue to provide your site information to Yahoo! using Site Explorer, because in many parts of the world search results will continue to be powered by Yahoo!’s systems until the full transition is complete for all markets by early 2012. This will help to ensure that you continue to get high quality traffic from searches originating on Yahoo! Once all markets are being served by Microsoft, Yahoo! plans to refine the focus of Yahoo! Site Explorer, and webmasters should use Bing’s Webmaster Center to provide information about their website and its structure.

Joydeep Deb

Marketing . Innovation . Technology


About the Author
Joydeep Deb

Joydeep Deb is a Senior Digital Marketer and Project Manager with strong experience in Digital Marketing, Lead Generation, Online Brand Management, Marketing Campaigns, Project Management, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), PPC, eMail Marketing, Web Analytics, Web Technologies, Web Design and Development.

With an MBA in Marketing. IIM Calcutta Alumini. Lives in Bangalore, Karnataka - India.

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