Trendspotting: Is Yahoo set to change search engine landscape?

Trendspotting: Is Yahoo set to change search engine landscape?

Author | Ankur Singh | Monday, Jul 06,2015 7:53 AM

Trendspotting: Is Yahoo set to change search engine landscape?

Yahoo has begun testing the usage of Google’s search results. The internet giant was spotted using Google’s results last week. The company has since been reported to be running small tests with a variety of partners including search providers. With such developments in the search engine space, it makes one wonder if this is a stepping stone in the next phase of “search” evolution.

Until recently, Yahoo depended on Microsoft’s Bing for its search results. However, Yahoo has renegotiated the deal, and has opened up the possibility to try other search partners.

Microsoft and Yahoo announced that the companies amended their search partnership to improve the search experience, create value for advertisers and establish ongoing stability for partners. The update reaffirms commitments made by both companies in the original 2009 agreement, while implementing changes to keep the partnership strong and productive, with both companies committed to maximizing the alliance.

Yahoo increased the flexibility on desktop search. Under the new deal, 51 per cent of its desktop search traffic has to carry Bing ads. The rest can carry ads however Yahoo likes — either from its own Gemini system or other partners.

“Our global partnership with Yahoo has benefited our shared customers over the past five years and I look forward to building on what we’ve already accomplished together,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft Corp. “Our partnership with Yahoo is one example of the diverse partnerships we’ll continue to cultivate in order to have the greatest impact for our customers.”

“Over the past few months, Satya and I have worked closely together to establish a revised search agreement that allows us to enhance our user experience and innovate more in our search business,” said Marissa Mayer. “This renewed agreement opens up significant opportunities in our partnership that I’m very excited to explore.”

The update includes improvements in two core areas. Yahoo will now have increased flexibility to enhance the search experience on any platform, since the partnership is non-exclusive for both desktop and mobile. Yahoo will continue to serve Bing ads and search results for a majority of its desktop search traffic.

According to a Yahoo statement, the update increases agility and sales focus. Microsoft will become the exclusive salesforce for ads delivered by Microsoft’s Bing Ads platform, while Yahoo will continue to be the exclusive salesforce for Yahoo’s Gemini ads platform. Integrating the sales teams with those responsible for engineering will allow both companies to service advertisers more effectively. Microsoft and Yahoo plan to begin to transition managed advertiser sales responsibilities this summer.

Even though the Microsoft-Yahoo partnership will continue on, Google might end up hogging a significant share in terms of ads and searches, if Yahoo and Google come to an agreement.

However, given Google and Yahoo’s history, the agreement might not come in as easily. The companies attempted to a search-ad deal that would have allowed Google to place its ads on Yahoo search results in 2008. After months of regulatory inquiry and complaints from competitors, including Microsoft, the deal never materialized.

The search engine space has evolved significantly since then. It is yet to be seen how this rumored integration between Yahoo and Google will pan out.

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