Microsoft/Yahoo search alliance update: the impact for advertisers

As you might be aware, Yahoo’s natural search results are now completely powered by Bing as part of their search alliance deal. From 19th March 2012, they will kick off the latest phase of their search alliance by migrating all Yahoo paid search accounts into the Microsoft adCenter platform. There will be a two week roll-out period of Yahoo traffic to the adCenter platform and the transition is expected to be complete by the end of April.

What does this mean for advertisers?

As an advertiser, this means you’ll be able to buy from a combined Yahoo and Bing audience through one platform, Microsoft adCenter. Managing both of these through one interface will save marketers much more time and hopefully lead to increased ROI for advertisers.

According to the latest Experian Hitwise stats, Google still dominates nearly 92% of the search engine UK market share, with Microsoft receiving 3.57% and Yahoo 2.53%. This means that Microsoft and Yahoo combined have a market share of over 6%, so although this is a small piece of the market, it is still not to be discounted.

Back in August last year we dropped all Yahoo paid search activity from our retail marketing campaigns because of declining Yahoo PPC results from its search partner network. However, once the transition is complete, you will be able to exclude the whole search partner network in adCenter and target Yahoo only.

For similar retailers, who advertise on Bing but not on Yahoo, this presents a great opportunity to generate a completely new source of traffic with no additional resource required. More importantly, the increase in traffic should also lead to increased sales and ROI. As a general rule, we would recommend that advertisers increase their click budgets in adCenter by 75% to cover for the increase in traffic from Yahoo.

We have been impressed with the ROI from Bing over recent months, so we are hopeful the transition will improve performance further. We will keep you updated with any results so watch this space…

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