Microsoft and Yahoo! have made a landmark deal today, which will effect the SEO industry in a few key ways. I won’t go into massive amounts of detail as I’m sure you’ve already consumed the facts elsewhere, but there’s a few things that need to be discussed.
So where does this leave the SEO industry as a whole? Google is still the dominant force, and I can’t see that changing any time soon, but this deal certainly earmarks the intention by both MS and Yahoo! to make a play on that dominance once and for all.
SearchEngineLand has a pretty good article explaining the key facts, but for me the only one I really need to pay attention to is:
Microsoft’s Bing will be the exclusive algorithmic search and paid search platform for Yahoo! sites. Yahoo! will continue to use its technology and data in other areas of its business such as enhancing display advertising technology.
Just in case you didn’t clock the gravity of that statement – Yahoo! will no longer power it’s own SERPs, instead Bing will provide the backend algorithmic sorting of all results returned. Sunnyvale has officially conceded with search.
For SEO though, this has a few big implications:
- We’ve been keeping an eye on Bing lately just like everyone else, but this news goes to show we need to spend a LOT more time on it.
- It’s going to be harder to report on search metrics. Up until now, we’ve tended to use Yahoo! as the true source of backlink counts – without Yahoo! Site Explorer, where will we get this data in the future? I guess our only real option is a proprietory app.
- We may lose APIs like BOSS. With MS providing the data, I can’t see these APIs being publically available like they are now. Again, we use these for reporting and internal apps.
I guess we won’t know the full extent of the deal and it’s effect on the worlds search habits for a while yet, but one things for sure – it’s going to be interesting to see how things pan out.