Yahoo and Bing are a powerful combined force, and have been the only real threat to Google since the Bing-Yahoo “search alliance” that began last year. In the initial phases, Bing and Yahoo joined together only in the U.S. However, they quickly expanded to numerous additional key areas. This year, Yahoo is planning to migrate the rest of their regional search sites to a Bing back-end.
Bing will be powering the search algorithm and search ads. In exchange, Yahoo will pay Microsoft 12% of all search ad revenue. The deal makes Bing-Yahoo big enough that it’s able to draw in more marketers and garner the attention of SEOs; currently, Bing-Yahoo makes up more than 30% of the U.S. market, and Yahoo remains a key player in several additional regions around the world.
The move is costly for both Microsoft and Bing. The companies have been in the process of an expensive transition for roughly a year now; Yahoo and Microsoft are splitting the costs of that transition. Once every region has migrated away from the current Yahoo back-end, Yahoo will save money on both transition costs and the maintenance of their search algorithm and ads. Yahoo will continue to support its own display network.
This month has seen the transition of Yahoo’s back-end to Bing in 19 countries total, including 7 countries on August 19th. The most recent additions are Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Russia, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Additionally, Yahoo MENA (the Middle East and North Africa version of Yahoo) has received support for all Arabic-language searches.
It’s expected that the Yahoo search transition will be completed no later than early 2012. Bing will be powering Yahoo in all major regions except Japan, where the Yahoo will be powered by Google.
[Sources include: The Yahoo Blog]