Prepare for Microsoft & Yahoo! Merge

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The long-awaited Microsoft/Yahoo! (or Microhoo!) search merge is almost upon us, and online advertising could find itself on the verge of a change. The integration of Yahoo!’s search facilities with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and AdCentre will give the companies a solid footing in the search arena, delivering the first credible threat to Google’s search ad monopoly. All going to plan,Yahoo! search could be entirely powered by Bing as early as September 2010.

Microsoft has already announced a few imminent updates to Bing, as it prepares to take on Yahoo!’s substantial user base. Visitors to Microsoft’s AdWords rival AdCenter will notice new performance and editorial dashboards on the site, while a new import process will be rolled out to improve negative keyword usability and allow advertisers to exclude search partners. Bing also plans to adopt Yahoo!’s existing domain blocking tool, for added security.

The two companies will be hoping to pose a threat to market leader Google, which continues to control the vast majority of online searches. Do bear in mind though that even with a recent rise in Bing traffic, Yahoo! and Bing combined currently amount to only 25%* of the search market. Google still attracts a clear majority of users with 71.65%* of all (US) queries placed through its search engine in June 2010.

*This data is from Hitwise and is based on four-week rolling periods (ending 29th May 2010 and June 26th 2010, from a sample of 10million USA internet users.

Steps to Prepare for the new Microsoft/Yahoo! search facility

  1. Keep an eye on the Microsoft/Yahoo! ‘search alliance’ page, which helps users keep track of ongoing developments. Search Scientist will also update on major breakthroughs.
  2. Prepare for a potential CPC increase as more advertisers are likely to move to the merged AdCentre and competition competition will increase.
  3. Look at the historical data from your Yahoo! and MSN performance reports to establish a baseline and help to predict merger effects on your advertising.
  4. If you have an AdWords account, and are interested in trying Microsoft/Yahoo! advertising – you can copy your AdWords account over using AdWords Editor (instructions linked)
  5. You may need to make some changes to your account such as adding negative keywords; adjusting geo-targeted locations; adjusting budgets and bids; and changing  your ad texts and keywords depending on character limits and available traffic.
  6. Microsoft AdCentre titles only allow 25 characters, where Yahoo! has a 40-character title limit. Additionally, Yahoo! ad description lines are allowed 71 characters, where the AdCentre allows 70. We recommend revising your ad texts to meet AdCentre character limits now.

Rumours of a Microsoft/Yahoo! merger began as early as 2005, with Yahoo! fighting a hostile takeover from Microsoft in April 2008. In July 2009, the companies agreed to a 10-year deal which will see Microsoft providing its search technology to Yahoo! websites, while Yahoo! sells search ads for both companies. The merger won EU and US regulatory approval earlier this year, and global integration is expected to complete in 2012.

Do you think that the integration of Yahoo! search into the Microsoft AdCentre will be a success? Will you advertise with Microhoo! ?

Reply below.

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13 Responses to Prepare for Microsoft & Yahoo! Merge

  1. Tegan Pangburn July 29, 2010 at 4:00 am #

    Sweet post.

  2. Sonya July 29, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    I don’t usually post on many blogs, yet I just have to say thank you… keep up the amazing work. Ok unfortunately its time to get to school.

  3. Ian July 30, 2010 at 8:16 am #

    Hi, thanks for this article. Really useful, practical, for everyone, advice. I will come back to see if there are any updates. Thanks.

  4. Luella Moczygemba July 30, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    Hi, have you had the opportunity to check out market samurai yet? I purchased it and I have to admit all I use it for is the rank checker 😐

  5. tom williams July 30, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    Aw, this was a really quality post. In theory I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and never seem to get these things done. I’ll keep checking back here and will bookmark this blog. Thanks.

  6. Ewan July 31, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    Very Interesting article. 🙂

  7. Duyq July 31, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    Great article, a better summation than I found on any other site. Regards, Duyq.

  8. Phillip July 31, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    I’m from Macedonia and it’s hard to come across this sort of information in passing. Now I’ve opened an AdCentre account and will paste my AdWords account structure in there. I’m all set and ready for the Yahoo! Microsoft merge. Thanks for your help.

  9. Victoria August 1, 2010 at 12:15 am #

    Dear Louise, thanks for sharing this blog post. I found it wonderful. Best regards, Victoria

  10. Brian August 1, 2010 at 1:27 am #

    Thanks for the great blog. I’m all for the Microsoft Yahoo! merge, I think it’ll be good for advertisers to have heartier competition. I think more people will use online advertising now that Microsoft yahoo advertising is more accessible and has more reach. Thanks for the practical tips here.

  11. louisemccartan August 1, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    Hi everyone,

    You’re very welcome. I’m glad you all found some use in this blog post. If you’d like updates in any particular Search Engine Marketing areas please don’t hesitate to let me know.


  12. Karl August 3, 2010 at 7:59 am #

    A very interesting read and a great post alltogether. Would you mind if I posted the same article on my blog (with a reference to your website)?

  13. Lewis August 5, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    I’m impressed!!! Really informative blog post here my friend. I just wanted to comment & say keep up the quality work. I’ve bookmarked your blog just now and I’ll be back to read more in the future! Also nice colors on the layout, it’s really easy on the eyes.

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