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Way back in 2009 Yahoo and Microsoft announced the launch of the Yahoo! & Microsoft Search Alliance. Finally, following its launch in the US in 2010 it looks set to launch here in the UK with Microsoft AdCentre providing paid search results for Yahoo from as early as January 17th.
Here, we take a quick look at what this will mean for advertisers and how we should prepare for the transition.
Why Have Yahoo and Microsoft Joined Together In This Way?
Basically, Microsoft is seeking to increase its market share – don’t forget Google currently controls about 90% of the market. The alliance hopes to “offer a competitive choice on search, providing greater value and efficiency by delivering a high quality audience on a single global platform”.
There are significant advantages to the alliance:
• The potential increase in volume. Not only for accounts who currently only operate on one of these search engines. The changes should lead to easier, more efficient keyword optimisation and consistency of keyword performance for those previously running on Bing and Yahoo too.
• Faster innovation. As previously stated, the main goal of the alliance is to increase market share, so that we see greater, faster innovation and improvements to the consumer search experience.
• One less campaign to manage. I’m sure I’m not alone in finding that managing across the two search engines is often an extremely time consuming and lengthy process. It should also now be easier to maintain relationships with only one point of contact – the Yahoo team.
• Don’t forget a prime motivator for advertising on Yahoo & Bing is often the reduced cost when compared to similar keyword positions on Google. Whilst we would expect CPCs to increase over time, they are still likely to be cheaper than Google. Another reason to get in quickly before CPCs increase!
Early results by Marin Software did indicate that following the US launch the alliance is working:
• The search alliance did gain some ground on Google in paid search, with early increases of around 2%.
• Improved ROI. Increased conversion rates (12%) and the fact that CPCs fell by 20% in comparison to Google meant an increase in ROI for advertisers.
What Do I Need To Do To Prepare My Account?
The main thing to do to prepare your account for transition is to take note of the key differences that currently exist between the two search engines. Some examples of this include Distribution settings – AdCentre will give you more control over your account by allowing distribution at ad group level. Language and market settings, website exclusion, conversion tracking and master account users – a great time saving feature in AdCentre not currently available in Yahoo means you can manage all your accounts with one username and password.
As far as account preparation goes, that’s about as complicated as it gets. We would recommend simply keeping your AdCentre account and making the necessary changes. Only set up a new AdCentre account and import your Yahoo one if you previously had no AdCentre account.
At I-COM, we believe the alliance will be good for paid search by helping to establish a more competitive paid search marketplace. It should also help advertisers to save time and money with great potential for increasing search volume, sales and ROI.
If you require any assistance managing your existing Yahoo and Bing campaigns, or indeed if you are new to paid search and would like to set up new accounts, contact our PPC team today on 0844 704 6830.