Yahoo + Bing Means War with Google
Today I found a very interesting slide and post showing the expected transition completion to be finalized between August and September of this year. Yahoo / Bing testing search results What does this mean to Google?
This possibly could be a game changer. Google will now be competing against the combined efforts of two major companies. Yahoo has been a tad weak in the search department in past years. In the past Yahoo was my search of choice, but then it got too busy and not enough relevant results… so I migrated along with millions of other users to Google. Yahoo has made itself more of a destination for news stories, email and user interaction in an effort to reclaim lost daily users. In my experience, I don’t see much traffic from Yahoo when analyzing client statistics. I do see some traffic from Bing, but not enough from Bing’s inception to recently to be overly concerned about ranking factors. Currently, if you are doing the right things for Google… your doing OK in Bing search results. Google and Bing do have a few differences in opinion on what they prefer and place higher importance on when delivering search results.
Here is an interesting comparison on current SEO element importance on Google vs Bing on SEOMoz. The differences are noticeable but not enough to make radical decisions to rank better in one over another. My current advice would be to stick to your SEO objectives with the search engine feeding you the most visitors / customers. This is “Current Advice”.
The Yahoo / Bing merger could become an issue for SEO and webmasters in the future. The search advertising market is enormous! Google’s profits are staggering. To date Adwords has been like Google’s very own money tree. That alone is enough reason for Yahoo / Bing to wage a war for the PPC advertising revenue market. The reason I see a nightmare looming is because hypothetically what if there is a dramatic shift in algorithms?
Suppose what is important to Google is not important to Bing? Or vice-versa? Now which search engine do you optimize your website for? The default answer might be for Google. But this is a hypothetical war so lets take the glass half empty outlook a step further.
Sure millions of people by default “Google”. But what if Microsoft decides to make the default home page on each and every one of it’s operating systems Internet Explorer browser Bing.com? Seriously, how many average users bother to change that setting? Or even know how to? Or even more diabolical. What if Microsoft pushes a “update” that accidentally changes Internet Explorers default home page to Bing.com. And better yet, the fix is for the user to physically change the default home page back to their preferred website. Again, how many folks are going to bother? I could go on and on with various sneaky ways Yahoo and Microsoft can bring their users over and use Yahoo and Bing’s search engines over Google’s. Add on relevant results and people are inherently inclined to use what works. Easy, simple and gives them what they want = users who stay.
Soooo, it will be interesting to see what starts happening in fall 2010 into 2011. I could be way off, but I do see a storm coming.