Last week, Yahoo and Bing began the handover of Yahoo!’s back-end search technology to Microsoft’s platform in the U.S. and Canada. This week, the transition is complete within those two countries, with more markets to follow suit in the coming months, and users will begin to notice the “Powered by Bing” disclaimer at the bottom of their Yahoo search results.
This transition has been a long time coming but has also occurred much earlier than expected. Both Bing and Yahoo! attribute this speedy accomplishment to their multitudes of employees, who have been working together at break-neck speed to complete the transition prior to the 2010 holiday season, a critical time period for most online retailers. The quick changeover will likely have an interesting effect on Bing’s market share, which has already seen substantial growth during the past 12 months. According to Titan Growth®’s Mackenzie Alvarez, “Based on recent market share data, Bing’s platform will be powering close to 30% of the market. That’s amazing for a search engine that was only launched a year ago.”
Now that the transition is complete, at least in the U.S. and Canada, SEO agencies that understand and take advantage of these updates will have the opportunity to gain additional market share. The opportunity is perfect for websites that are not yet optimized since they will be able to focus their “new” efforts on two search engines rather than three. Agencies that have worked to prepare for such changes will likely see a smooth transition with few negative effects.
As always, search engine updates or large shifts such as the Search Alliance can be stressful for online marketers but also present an opportunity to come out ahead of the competition. A time of transition such as this is a great chance for well-informed SEO agencies to gain additional exposure for their clients. The key is research, preparation, and an ongoing effective, flexible strategy going forward.
Contributed by Amanda Finch, VP Operations