This morning, Microsoft announced their open plans to acquire Yahoo, offering $45 Billion for the Internet communications, publishing and search company. Yahoo responded, saying that their Board of Directors (minus Terry Semel) would review the proposal from Microsoft.
The acquisition of Yahoo by Microsoft is something the tech community has been anticipating for months now, and for a price very close to Microsoft’s offer. Microsoft is a very large and powerful tech company with only one part of its invested interests targeted towards online entertainment and search.
It makes sense to acquire a very proven and successful company in Yahoo, despite Yahoo’s recent problems. By acquiring a stripped down version of Yahoo now under Jerry Yang, Microsoft is acquiring a more efficient company.
What’s most important out of this announcement to us is the arm of Yahoo that we call Yahoo Search. What will this mean to search marketing?
Yahoo Search Will Replace Live Search : Entirely
If there is any given out of the plans of Microsoft to acquire Yahoo, it is that Yahoo Search Technology is a much better and branded solution than Microsoft Live Search. Here’s why :
- Microsoft cannibalized its search efforts when it decided to brand two search engines on two separate fronts; Live Search & MSN Search.
- By splitting the engine into two brands, it killed its market share and confused the hell out of Microsoft users with its split search personality.
- Furthermore, as Yahoo, Ask.com and Google have improved their search engines, Microsoft Search has worsened with irrelevant results and has become a harem for spammers.
- If anyone is going to lose in a Yahoo Microsoft merger, it willl be the blackhatters & spammers who do quite well ranking with Microsoft Search.
- Yahoo has also done a very fine job of monetizing organic search with paid inclusion. Using Yahoo Search to power the MSN, Live.com, and Internet Explorer networks will expand the Yahoo Search paid inclusion market substantially.
- Yahoo Search and its Research & Development team are quite impressive, and second to only Ask.com in innovation, a lot which is probably being held back by the corporate red tape which Ask.com can bypass being a minor player. Microsoft will be getting a gem in Yahoo Search.
So, how will this effect SEO and the SEO market?
- For starters, Microsoft Search seems to give very high value to directory links : especially low powered directories and link trading houses.
- Secondly, there will probably be a small hit to affiliate marketers who have reaped the rewards of Microsoft’s poor rankings, and will not have that search market share to bring in business.
- Third, with two major search choices in Google & MicroHoo!, I see Ask.com and IAC stepping up with promoting their search engine, and possibly gain some marketshare via the merger, as an alternative to Big Net.
If Microsoft does acquire Yahoo and replace their search technology with Yahoo Search, how will that change the SEO landscape and your SEO efforts?