It’s happened—Microsoft has swallowed the Yahoo search engine and though you won’t see much interface change, Yahoo will now be powered by Bing and display Bing search results. So what does this merger mean for your website and rankings?
Microsoft is now managing both organic and paid search for both Bing and Yahoo. Don’t expect a merge of the two engines—they’ll still appear separate as they’ve always been, but you can expect the same search results from both as they use Microsoft’s algorithm.
Yahoo will continue to be Yahoo, but they’ll no longer have a search function and Microsoft can now dig in and create an improved search engine to justify their investment—directing a lot more traffic towards Bing. Users will be able to enjoy a improved search experience—a new bigger market share for Microsoft means search innovation for us web searchers. As of July of this year, it was reported that 65% of searches occur on Google, with the remaining 17% on Yahoo and 12% on Bing. If we assume that no visitors migrate over to Google, Bing will now receive an estimated 30% of the market and be responsible for powering 30% of search results.
What We’re Doing: SEO is still the same for both Bing and Google: we create original content for both search engines, with appropriate and targeted keywords. Both engines appreciate quality links, and clean, well-designed websites with proper coding. That part hasn’t changed. But with Bing stepping up their game, it’s important to make sure there are no crawl errors preventing your site from being indexed by Bing, in addition to making sure Bing’s geo-targeting recognizes the country, language, and locations your website targets.
If you’re concerned for your rankings or wondering how well you’ll do in the new Yahoo search results, make sure you are following good SEO practices. Once the Bing and Yahoo transition is complete, expect your current Bing rankings to be the same as Yahoo. If you do notice a change in your rankings, this is only temporary and should stabilize in a week or two as the merger finalizes. However, Bing is making changes to its engine at the same time, and it has been slow to index new pages as well. You may see both your Yahoo and Bing rankings decrease/increase over the next few weeks.
Optimizing Your Website for Bing: Both Google and Bing search engines respond to typical strategic SEO methods, it’s been noted that Google gives greater weight to linking and Bing more to site domain names—meaning your website should have keywords in its URL. Keywords in title tags, content with appropriate keyword density, optimized internal links are rewarded by both engines and are great SEO practices. In the future, we’ll be paying more attention to how content is optimized and arranged on your website, seeing Bing’s greater relevance and how it’s pulling in more content into search results pages.