The renaissance of the web in early 2000’s was driven by search.
Online advertisers didn’t see conversions from any type of marketing besides search, so that is where all the money went, which in turn, created a stable web economy.
Moreover, with search engine traffic converting so well, organic listings became a substantial focus for websites, and SEO became a buzz word that has certainly withstood the test of time.
To date, you only had to worry about Google for your SEO efforts. With 70% of searches powered by Google results, and the other 30% scattered across multiple engines, it was pointless to concern yourself with other results. From a PPC perspective, Google was the main focus as well as it controlled much of the pay per click traffic through its Google.com results, syndicated results on other search engines, and AdSense.
However, yesterday, this all began to change, and the most important economy on the web is taking a new shape. Microsoft announced on its advertiser blog that it has begun to test the delivery of Bing organic results to Yahoo’s search results. Microsoft also said that it started to syndicate its paid PPC listings to Yahoo search as well. Microsoft went on to comment that some its advertisers may see an increase in traffic as a result of the added distribution.
Partly because the Yahoo-Microsoft pact has been talked about for over two years, it seems that this recent news has flown under the radar. However, it shouldn’t. Because of Bing, it’s a new day on the web.
Today, it has become critical for website owners to be concerned about their Bing rankings. Bing continues to creep up the market share rankings in terms of search traffic. Yahoo has remained steady, and when we combine the two it makes up for roughly 25% of US search traffic. With both of the search engines combining resources, traffic, knowledge, and users; chances are that Bing-Yahoo results will reach 1/3 of the market. Plus, syndication could aid this growth as other websites may begin to implement Bing results on their websites for a variety of reasons.
Rand from SEO Moz put together a detailed outline on the differences between Google and Bing’s ranking algorithm. These types of analysis will continue to take place and webmasters need to concern themselves with how Bing ranks their website and what can be done to improve this. Websites valuations that only factored in Google rankings for an appraisal based on rankings will have to factor in the Bing rankings as well. And, of course websites with good Yahoo organic rankings will take a significant hit as these listings go away.
The pay-per-click space will change as much if not more than the organic space. Advertisers who only focused on Google PPC certainly need to change this strategy and join MSN adCenter. When you only advertise on one network, there is less supply available, which means that you have to pay a higher per click to drive the traffic that you need to.
As MSN adCenter commands more traffic, advertisers will be able to lower their overall cost per conversion as they are able to rely on Google less with another option in the market place. In the past, it didn’t make sense to advertise on both Yahoo and adCenter because the time it took to manage each campaign didn’t equate with the amount of volume that you could drive. However, with adCenter ads getting syndicated to Yahoo, in half the time, you will be able to essentially purchase twice the amount of traffic.
Over the past 6 years, Google AdSense has become the remnant inventory solution for the entire web. When a publisher can’t sign on a quality advertiser direct, they can copy and paste AdSense code to instantly get relevant advertisers paying a solid CPC.
Unfortunately for publishers, there hasn’t been an alternative. Yahoo actually recently closed down its content targeting product and the adCenter content targeting product remains in Beta and offers little value to publishers.
It is very difficult to compete with AdSense, as you need a wide depth of advertisers to be able to target all of the unique content across the web. Plus, the technology needs to be able to understand the type of content on the page to know which targeted advertisers to display. And while Yahoo and Microsoft weren’t able to compete on their own, when you combine the forces, we may finally get an AdSense alternative.
This should be music to the ears of all publishers across the web because with competition should mean that Google will start to pay out more to the publisher and keep less income for itself. Plus, Microsoft has traditionally paid extremely high revenue shares as a way to penetrate new markets, so when you combine this with the technology Yahoo and Microsoft can create, and the depth of advertisers they will be able to pull from; we may start to see publishers remove AdSense for the first time in 5 years in favour for this new offering.
Having a new content targeting product will of course affect advertisers as well. When advertisers sign up for adCenter, not only will they be getting on Yahoo and Bing; but eventually, they could be syndicated across the entire web once the content targeting product offered to publishers from Microsoft can compete with Google AdSense.
When you combine all of these factors, it is clearly a new day on the web. Granted, its early, the Yahoo results are slowly being switched over to Bing results, and of course it will take time for things such as the adCenter content targeting product to scale. However, we have been hearing about this partnership for 2 years, and until recently, nothing has happened. The faucet has finally been turned on, and I think that this is the start of a new day on the web.
Evan Britton founded Sency in 2009. The goal of Sency is to bring real-time content, links, and tools, to Internet users in an organised and simple fashion.
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