Microhoo Deal Given Thumbs Up to Proceed

Microsoft and Yahoo announced today that their planned Search Alliance has been given the go-ahead by the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission without any restrictions.

The exact implementation is yet to be announced, but will involve Yahoo shifting their organic and paid search operations to Microsoft. Yahoo will then display primary search results from Bing and enhance them with Yahoo content.

From Yahoo’s official press release:

“Implementation of the deal is expected to begin in the coming days and will involve transitioning Yahoo!’s algorithmic and paid search platforms to Microsoft, with Yahoo! becoming the exclusive relationship sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers globally. Once the transition is completed, the companies’ unified search marketplace will deliver improved innovation for consumers, better volume and efficiency for advertisers and better monetization opportunities for web publishers through a platform that contains a larger pool of search queries.”

Advertising for both companies will be managed by Microsoft’s adCenter platform (meaning the closure of Yahoo Search Marketing) and prices for all search ads will be set by AdCenter’s automated auction process.

According to a memo sent to all Yahoo advertisers today:

  • Yahoo Search Marketing advertisers will log into one place - Microsoft’s adCenter - to manage campaigns, for greater efficiency and a better ROI.
  • Yahoo is hoping to transition advertisers and partners in the U.S. prior to October 2010, but may wait until 2011 for efficiency reasons.
  • Advertisers will reach users on Yahoo! and Microsoft sites as well as other premium partner sites, with a single buy on adCenter.
  • Yahoo will give Search Marketing advertisers 3 months warning of any changes to take place.

The two search giants have created a web site dedicated to the partnership and Yahoo has implemented a Transition Center for advertisers.

What does it mean for the search industry? To use a silly dinosaur analogy, (because who doesn’t like those?), it means that Bing the Triceratops and Yahoo the Brontosaurus have just combined to become an aggressive Tyrannosaurus Rex that’s going on a hunt for the Google Gigantosaurus.

Should be quite a spectacle.

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How Google Helped Haiti

No doubt you’ve heard by now of the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti this week.

If you’ve visited Google.com since then you’ll see they’ve given up some home page real estate to highlight the tragic event. The home page now features the following sentence:

“Information, resources, and ways you can help survivors of the Haiti earthquake.”

The sentence links to an information page about how the public can help disaster relief in Haiti, complete with donate buttons for UNICEF and CARE, processed by Google checkout.

As well as using their popularity to spread the word, Google has announced they will be donating $1 million to the relief fund.

Not to be outdone, Yahoo and Bing also feature Haiti on their home pages. Yahoo highlights an article about texting to support Haiti as their lead story and also includes a small link for donation options. Bing features two small links labeled “How you can help Haiti” and “Get the latest earthquake news” below the fold, at the very bottom of the page.

If you want to donate to Haiti disaster relief, you can visit the Google link above or contact one of the many charitable organizations in the region directly.

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Yahoo Highlights Search Trends for 2009

Today Yahoo launched its 2009 Year in Review which features the top trends and web searches made on Yahoo for 2009.

Categories included in the Year in Review include:

  • Top 10 Searches e.g. Twilight
  • Farewells e.g. Michael Jackson
  • Sudden Fame e.g. Susan Boyle
  • Mad Science e.g. Hubble Telescope
  • Obama in the House e.g. Health Care Plan
  • Market Darlings e.g. Twitter
  • Financial Hangovers e.g. Stimulus Plan
  • Bloggers Roll e.g. Huffington Post

Each category features a Top 10 list of the most popular searches queries for that topic. Search query trends were measured by various factors, including total volume and growth versus previous periods.

Yahoo has also created a competition for the Year in Review called Your Moments, where you are invited to share your meaningful moments of 2009 via Twitter using the hashtag #myyearyahoo.

So what were the top ten most popular searches on Yahoo in 2009?

1. Michael Jackson
2. Twilight
3. WWE
4. Megan Fox
5. Britney Spears
6. Naruto
7. American Idol
8. Kim Kardashian
9. NASCAR
10. Runescape

After 4 years in the #1 spot, Britney Spears moved down to the #5 position. However, the majority of top 10 search queries still relate to the entertainment industry, suggesting that we consistently like to escape from reality. Sad but true.

What were your memorable moments of 2009? Please add your comments below.

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Yahoo Launches a Microblogging Platform

Have you heard of Yahoo Meme? The new microblogging site was soft-launched in Portuguese in May by invitation only and according to TechCrunch, Yahoo has just launched a Spanish version.

Yahoo Meme is kind of like a Twitter / Facebook mashup. When you create an account, you are presented with an empty blog which you can template with your choice of avatar and background and populate with text posts, music, videos and pictures. You can also comment underneath any of your content. You can follow people and repost their content, similar to retweeting on Twitter. View a sample Meme profile to get a feel for it.

Meme’s mascot is a cartoon dog. Not quite as cute as the Twitter bird but close enough.

With Yahoo launching Meme to the Spanish speaking market, it seems they are getting closer to building a potential rival to Twitter.

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A Bing Powered Yahoo! - It’s Official

News has just broken on Twitter that Microsoft and Yahoo! have finally closed a deal where Bing will power Yahoo! search results while Yahoo! will become the worldwide sales force for both companies’ search advertising.

@Bing broke the news with this tweet:

“Bing. Yahoo! Two great tastes that are now going to be great together. Check out http://bit.ly/9eUh7″

I can hear the mobile phones of a hundred Google executives ringing from here. Talk about a wake up call!

More details available on my SiteProNews blog post: It’s Official: Bing to Power Yahoo! Search.

Added: more industry coverage here:

It’s Finally Official, Microsoft and Yahoo Make a Deal, Yahoo Gives Up on Search (Search Engine Land)

Microsoft and Yahoo Finally Announce Deal (WebProNews)

Live Blogging The MSFT - YHOO Search Press Conference (Search Engine Land)

Top 10 Things the Microsoft/Yahoo! Deal Changes for SEO (SEOmoz)

The Microsoft-Yahoo Search Deal, In Simple Terms (Search Engine Land)

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