Google + Yahoo Search Deal & What It Means
November 14, 2016
I’ll admit it: the first email address I actually used was a Yahoo one. Whew – it feels good to get that off my chest although we won’t even discuss how embarrassing my username was.
I’ve completely bought into Google, even though it can be a little creepy at times. In the last decade, Google has dominated email services, online search, and a little bit of just about everything else. Old man Yahoo, little brother Bing, and all the awkward cousins we generously call “search engines” have been grasping at Google’s coat tails for years. They have even conspired together, but this time around, it’s Google that’s hooking up with Yahoo.
At the end of October, the two companies struck a deal that will run from October 1 through the 2018 calendar year. According to the deal, Google will provide Yahoo with various search ads for both desktop and mobile devices, including search ads, image search, and algorithmic search (except in Europe). This will not apply to all searches, however, as Yahoo can decide when to use the Google algorithms for its own results. The incentive to do more instead of less? Google will pay Yahoo a percentage of revenue generated from the ads.
What It Means
For search engine marketers, our jobs are simplified. Although most of us are already focusing on Google primarily since it holds two-thirds of the market, Yahoo will now be serving up some of the same results as Google. All of the main search engines already serve up similar results for the most part, but this will create further uniformity. Continue to follow best practices, and you’ll be in good shape for organic results.
Paid search, however, could see more significant ramifications. Will you have control over which engine displays your ads? How might costs fluctuate? Yahoo is typically more popular with older users, so in what ways will audience targeting shift? This is definitely an area to keep your eye on.
In short, this deal further reinforces Google as the top provider for search results, and Yahoo gets to walk away feeling good, knowing that it has the ability to enhance its own product at will for a cost. It’s a perfect case of “When you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
As digital marketers, the landscape of online marketing has changed drastically in the last 15 years, and it will continue to evolve. Success for a brand online goes far beyond keyword rankings and even organic search. Adopting an all-encompassing marketing strategy is the only way to ensure success for the present and future.