Yahoo Announces Time Frame for Bing Organic Search
Back in February, 2010 Yahoo announced they will be transitioning to using Bing organic search results, and phasing out Yahoo’s own organic search engine.
Today Yahoo announced to their search advertisers the time frame for that will be “August/September”:
“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.“
What does this mean for your SEO traffic from Yahoo? Well, it depends on how well you are doing in Bing today.
To assess the potential impact, you can look at two things:
- Compare current positions for important keywords in both Yahoo and Bing, and
- Look at your website analytics for traffic from each of Yahoo and Bing organic search engines.
For current positions, do a sampling of keywords that are important to your website. Look at where you are in Bing and Yahoo for each of those. There are a number of automated tools to do this, such as CheckRankings.com and Web Position Gold.
For analytics, this will depend on what tool you use, such as Google Analytics, WebTrends or Omniture. Look for keywords that send good traffic from Yahoo organic, and compare to Bing organic traffic for those same keywords. Be sure to separate out other sources, such as paid search traffic.
Bing search volume is about 67% of Yahoo, so if there are keywords where Yahoo volume is much higher than Bing (e.g., 2x or more), then you may want to put some effort in to improving Bing SEO for your site. This will be hard since Bing is still evolving from being more content-driven to including broader factors such as site quality and inbound linking, so it is a moving target. For now, however, look to be sure you have your keywords present on each relevant page, in the title tag, <h1> tag and body text. Also work to get inbound links that use those keywords in anchor text, and where the linking page uses your keywords in the page title and body text. These are standard SEO practices, and will help with both Bing and Google.
Also be sure to register and check your settings for Bing webmaster tools for each of your sites. See http://www.bing.com/webmaster
One downside of this transition is that Microsoft still does not have very good tools for managing organic search results, and Yahoo had much better. Hopefully Microsoft will improve their tools, such as adding the ability to ignore URL parameters that do not impact content.
Long term, this means we now have only two major search engines to monitor for SEO: Google and Bing. As of now, Google is about 63% market share, Yahoo 19% and Bing 12%. Ask.com has 4%, which for most sites is not enough to put effort into optimization. Given Bing will more than double in volume, and potentially have a 30% share, a more effort should be put into optimizing for Bing search.