Bing and Yahoo Webmaster Tools Combine

bing-yahoo-googleIt has been a long time coming but the 2nd and 3rd largest search engines are merging their operations and services more and more. Very soon I predict that Yahoo will simply morph into Bing and Yahoo will be no more. Only time will tell but there are many factors leading me to believe this. Funny enough the most recent stats from ComScore May 2011 for the US search engine usage market shows that Yahoo still commands 2nd position with 15.9% of searches followed by Bing with 14.1% of searches. Of course Google is kingpin by far with 65.5% of all search queries in the US. The reason it is ‘funny’ is because 2nd position Yahoo is being engulfed and swallowed by Bing who is smaller (although only slightly).


Bing and Yahoo Webmaster Tools

Today (8/25/11) Bing announced that it has extended its data gathering reach to include analytics from Yahoo searches in its Bing Webmaster Tools. This follows the trend that Yahoo and Bing are merging since July 2009 when both Yahoo and Bing agreed to use the Bing search algorithm to display results on both search engines.


traffic-data-bing-yahooThe additional results from Yahoo included in your Bing Webmaster Tools will affect your ‘traffic summary’ report and your ‘page traffic’ report. Impressions should go up due to the combined data as of today and click should also go up due to the same reason. Inside the ‘rank and traffic stats’ page in Bing Webmaster Tools you will see both Bing and Yahoo logo’s living side by side like a happy family.


Is this the start of Google’s demise?

Still it begs the question will this Bing and Yahoo merger end up posing a decent threat against Google?


Firstly Bing is the search engine of Microsoft which has the lions share of computers using its operating system Windows (as opposed to Apple’s using iOS). Microsoft has its default settings for its market leading internet browser ‘internet explorer’ also set to use Bing. Plus Bing has huge offline marketing effort such as TV commercials, billboards, and other public advertising to encourage new users to switch to it.


What are searchers looking for?

In a search engine, users simply want the best results. Google search algorithm is widely believed to produce the best results without having spamming problems causing non relevant results to show up. Google’s spiders (also known as web crawlers) index more of the web and faster than the Bing and Yahoo crawlers meaning more internet sites are listed on Google. Google also has a more complex search algorithm that is constantly updated (such as the Panda , Penguin and Hummingbird updates) to fight black hat and spamy seo techniques and simply let the best and most appropriate results show up first in its search engine. Bing and Yahoo’s algorithm (which is now just the Bing algorithm for both search engines) is much more easily manipulated. This is well known by SEO experts and exploited using heavy handed onpage SEO techniques like body text keyword repetition and spamy meta tagging. The Google algorithm on the other hand has strong focus on in links from other relevant websites (which are more difficult to get) and also puts focus on social sharing, history of domain and unique onpage engaging content.


Could the merger of Bing and Yahoo spell the downfall of Google?

Recently Google purchased Motorola to add to the variety of companies it already owns. This by no means will the last horizontal diversification of being simply a search engine. Google has branched out in the past to services like Chrome – its own browser, Android – its mobile operating system, plus a myriad of online applications like maps, earth, docs, apps, news, Gmail etc. Google has branched out into so many areas of both the online world and offline world that this super-company will by no means be wiped away – but it might be challenged by this Bing and yahoo merger in the search engine world.


Google’s core business (and its #1 revenue generator) is from its AdSense – the ‘sponsored listings’ on the side of its search engine. If Bing and Yahoo can make a dent into the market share that Google controls and convert new users into using Bing, then Google’s main revenue source will decrease setting off alarm bells.


The future

Until Bing can improve its algorithm to give better results it will be limited in the number of new users it can attract to using its search engine. Converting new users is a hard thing since there is a lot of loyalty to Google. It can be seen in the past even when the search giant messes something up like the famous privacy lawsuits when Google launched Buzz, its search engine usage was not effect (maybe just Gmail usage decreased and only by a little it was speculated). Google users are loyal and hence hard to convert to a new search engine meaning Bing will really have to deliver a better product with value added for the user.


Until Bing improves its core product being its search engine, all the changes and merges in the world for its webmaster tools will be a vain attempt to get more people to use its products.


Paul Vesely has over 12 years experience in the dynamic online marketing environment instigating marketing solutions for a wide range of businesses to suit their goals. Through understanding a company's target market and aims, Paul has managed to launch a wide variety of online marketing campaigns to increase sales, generate leads, and increase bottom line profit. Paul Vesely's expertise lie in inbound marketing and focus on utilizing search engine optimization, PPC, PR, Social Media and online campaigns to accomplish the client's business goals through online means. The author's views expressed in this blog are his own and do not represent anyone or any other organization's views even if the author is associated with those organizations.