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While it's premature to start adapting search strategies for Bing, it may be prudent to get a jump on the competition by doing research now in case the deal goes through.
I am NOT advocating changes to your site because a deal has not been announced. However it makes sense to look into Bing and make your evaluations and plan a strategy so that if this is what is coming down the road, you will be that much more ahead of your competition.
How well do you rank on Bing? You may want to research what factors influence Bing ranking and think about how that can safely be integrated into future optimization efforts if a deal with Yahoo is announced.
Any alliance would be good purely as a way to offer some competition to G and to their dominance - especially if that included a rival contextual Ad system.
Those who rank well on Yahoo and not on Bing should be concerned.
Is optimizing for two search engines better than optimizing for three?
[edited by: martinibuster at 9:07 pm (utc) on July 27, 2009]
If we can combine Bing and Slurp! then we're talking.
The upside with Bing is less SE spam as they're trying to aggressively block a lot of stuff, including malware sites, that Yahoo turns a blind eye. Bing is also aggressive at stopping botnets from using Bing's index to locate vulnerable sites by not returning results that identify vulnerable sites.
Big downside for everyone is that standards adoption for crawlers will be more tenuous when there's only 2 instead of 3.
For instance, can you imagine Bing jumping on the sitemap bandwagon when it's just Bing and Google?
More than likely they might try to push their own opposing standards which is the MS way once they start to gain market dominance or even a decent slice of that market.
Also on Yahoo! older sites have stability in SEPRs that I've never seen on any Microsoft search product yet. Regardless of that what's the point of not selling ou tto Microsoft to then start to republish their search engine ?
People will figure it out and Yahoo! will go the way of altavista (the first search engine I ever used).
Microsoft are putting a huge effort into Bing. In London alone they have 60 engineers just working on getting the US results UK-centric ready to come out of beta in September.
1. M$ buy the rights (that's the summary right?) to have Bing on Yahoo, so Bing results will appear whenever a search is done on Yahoo
2. M$ buy the whole search part of Yahoo and will no doubt combine the best parts of the two such as site explorer
Check your stats to see how much traffic you get via Bing versus Yahoo. You can then use the market share stats to determine how this will affect your traffic.
Since Bing pulls in about 40% of what Y does for us, a Yahoo-Bing search would cause us to lose a few visitors based on my calculations (ie - using Bing at 50% of Y referrals as a baseline "no change").