But Enough About BingHoo, Let's Talk About BingHoo

A lot has been said, and a lot has been read on last week's Bing-rise/Yahoo!-fall last week, which makes now as good as time as any to start thinking about what it really means in the broad scope of "search engine marketing" - for both paid and natural search. I personally spent the better part of last week talking about and reflecting on the change, and I've written numerous thoughts on the implications. Given that there has been a little bit of time to let the news sink in, here are a few additional thoughts on what this change means in the long term for the search industry:

Two years is a long, long time in the search business. With all of the hype around this partnership, it is important that both paid and natural search marketers don't to get too over-amped about the immediate impact to their campaigns. Once the deal passes U.S. government scrutiny (at least six months), it may be anywhere between 18 to 24 months before Bing results are rolled out into Yahoo! pages. If you are currently engaged with a search agency, or are involved in an enterprise search campaign, then you are as familiar as you need to be with Bing results, for the time being. But watch and monitor developments closely.



Yahoo!'s market share will inevitably erode before Bing results get implemented. With Yahoo! exposed as having given up on search for an extended period of time, users will flock over to alternatives, most likely Google. But ultimately Bing wins either way, as Yahoo! is effectively put out of business as a search provider, though what Bing gains from Yahoo! will be much less later on.

Google's share and domination will rise. As I have stated in previous columns, Google will continue to dominate , and I see them going to as high as 85 percent total share in the coming months. While Bing wins in this deal at the expense of Yahoo!, the category leader also reaps the benefits of such a tremendous shift in the landscape. Google also gets share from Yahoo!, and there is a case to be made that Google is also getting category lift from Bing's $100MM ad campaign .

Bing will have to prove the quality of its traffic in the Yahoo! network before budget share increases. Budget shift in paid media is not a given for Bing, and perhaps one of its greatest challenges will be scaling its existing performance into the Yahoo! network. Bing generally performs well across many different verticals, but there is just one problem for marketers: There has never been enough available traffic from it to shift a substantial share of budget. With increased reach through Yahoo!'s share of search, they now have that opportunity. But how these campaigns react in Yahoo!'s various ad distribution deals off of the search page remains to be seen, and how they perform will be directly proportional to how many marketers increase their budgets to Bing.

A search pioneer falls. Having been a longtime user of Yahoo! search, syndicating Bing results is somewhat of a return to their roots; like the days where Inktomi or Google supplied the results, long before pay-per-click became a primary aspect of the landing page. In the early-mid 2000's, Yahoo! managed to grab a hold of virtually every major search play still standing - including Overture, AltaVista, FAST/AllTheWeb, among others. Effectively, most of this search legacy will be completely wiped out with the replacement of Bing results (though Yahoo! managed to kill most of them on their own), and there is nothing to indicate that Microsoft will be adopting any of these technologies at any major scale anytime soon.

There are of course, many other things to consider from a strategic, account and tactical level. While this is a historic shift in the search landscape, watch how things play out, learn as much as possible about the various details of the search channel, and move accordingly as they play out. The bottom line is that there are now two major search providers, and neither should be ignored for the sake of natural search, paid search or both.

3 comments about "But Enough About BingHoo, Let's Talk About BingHoo".
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  1. Pam Piccola-fales from Digitas LLC, August 5, 2009 at 4:17 p.m.

    Re: 'With Yahoo! exposed as having given up on search for an extended period of time, users will flock over to alternatives, most likely Google. '

    I doubt most non-internet-marketers have heard about the deal, much less plan to adjust their web habits because of it....

  2. Rob Garner from Author of "Search and Social: The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing Wiley/Sybex 2013, August 5, 2009 at 5:10 p.m.

    Pam - a lot of what the general public's perception is based on what experts think. And the consensus among search experts is that they've given up.

    If that were wholly the case, then would still have maintained their market share. The announcement that they were becoming a search engine for women sent their ship in an entirely different direction, when they could have gone a different way had they maintained the universal approach.

  3. Nick Roshon from iCrossing, August 5, 2009 at 5:21 p.m.

    I like your point that not all Yahoo search users will flock to Bing. A lot of the coverage assumes that when the agreement took place, Bing's share was now current Bing users + current Yahoo users. I agree that Yahoo's base of users will shrink, Google's will grow, and relatively speaking, it's hard to tell where that will leave Bing's percent of market share vis-a-vis Google, but simply adding Yahoo + Bing numbers is incredibly optimistic.

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