Jul 292009

MSN and Yahoo: Together at Last

It's official, MSN and Yahoo have worked out a deal by which the Bing platform will become the core for both natural and paid listings on both networks.

Search Engine Land has a good write-up outlining the arrangement.

Our take? This is a good thing for PPC on three fronts:

  1. The Yahoo service reps stay on using the MSN platform. This takes the best of both worlds. Yahoo's reps have always been top drawer in our experience and the Bing API interface is excellent -- it would be great if they didn't update the API every time there is a .net update, and if they didn't force ordering on XML which should be stateless, but...
  2. By combining traffic, the Bing and Yahoo data sets will be far more robust allowing data-driven firms to work more of their magic. Heck demographic targeting might actually become valuable when there is enough data to model.
  3. Reducing redundancy won't hurt. Having to launch promotional copy across three engines takes time. Dropping from 3 to 2 will reduce grunt work and allow our analysts more time to focus on higher value analysis.

None of this will happen over night. They expect to close the deal in early 2010 after careful sniffing by regulators, and "full implementation" may take 24 months.

Will "Ya-Bing!" pose a real threat to Google? We'll see. Looking just at Paid Search, the share is still only 20%. Google is still hugely dominant. But it certainly gives Microsoft a fighting chance. Now, if they can just pry AOL away from Google...


5 Responses to "MSN and Yahoo: Together at Last"
sri says:
Wow! Finally Microsoft has reached a deal Yahoo for an internet search partnership. Will the newly announced deal between giants Microsoft and Yahoo be a good thing? Got to wait and see. But atleast Microsoft and Yahoo deal is straightforward and not complex at all and ofcourse, the negotiation talks have been going for long. I was just curious to know all the past negotiations between Microsoft and Yahoo so collected all the articles and links (more than 200) related to the current merger and the previous events or negotiations between Microsoft and Yahoo. If you are interested check the link below. http://markthispage.blogspot.com/2009/07/saga-of-microsoft-and-yahoo-from-2007.html
Chris1 says:
I'm shocked that anyone would consider Yahoo's service reps "top drawer"! A few years back, we were a platinum advertiser (or something like that) at Yahoo - a team from Yahoo even flew out to Boston to meet with us. Now, we have no rep support at all. We spend $600-$800/day on PPC with Yahoo, and when I have a problem, all I can do is email the general support box. I have 4+ people I can go to at Google, 3 at MS and even 2 at Miva, but no rep at all at Yahoo. If this deal means I lose my MS reps and still get no support from Yahoo, then I vote for no deal!
Fascinating perspective, Chris. Thanks for sharing. We can only speak to our own experiences with the agency teams. Our Yahoo folks have always been excellent and responsive. Our new MSN folks are a HUGE improvement over the past and we're quite pleased with them, too, but that's a big change from where they were. Of course, we manage $100 million annually in advertising, so we probably get better service than most.


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