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What the Yahoo-Microsoft deal means

Yahoo and Microsoft concluded an agreement last week that will see Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, used on Yahoo. This effectively creates a new rival to Google, the search-engine giant.

How does this affect us?

Locally Bing has an estimated search market share of 4% and Yahoo 2%. Their combined market share of 6% is still way behind Google’s 92%.

But a major benefit for us is that Bing allows users to limit searches to South African websites. This will deliver improved local search results which were previously only possible with Google. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on Google, you now have an alternative. We’ve seen the traffic from Bing on our client websites increase due to this improved functionality.

The new competition will also fuel further innovation and improvements to Google and Bing which should result in improved user experience.

Benefit for local advertisers

From an advertiser’s perspective, Bing is good news because Google was the only real search engine with enough volume to run a campaign.

If Bing increases its local market share to about 15% it’ll provide an alternative to Google with a lower cost per click which could save advertisers money.

Final thought

I believe competition is good in any market and this agreement plays to Microsoft and Yahoo’s strengths. Microsoft — with its search technology — and Yahoo have a formidable advertiser base and advertising sales team.

Yahoo has lacked strategic direction for a number of years and is now finally moving forward while Microsoft now has a platform to compete directly with Google.

Let the games begin!