Yahoo Microsoft Deal, What’s It Mean to Yahoo Search Experience?

At today’s SEMPO Atlanta PPC event I had a chance to ask all the important SEO questions with a Yahoo representative (who’s name unfortunately escapes me).  With the joining of Yahoo and BING, it was common knowledge that Bing Microsoft organic search results will power the Yahoo search.  But how will the result add up to Google?  How will Yahoo search experience change?

As an SEO professional, I know Yahoo search algorithms are noticeably more sophisticated than those of BING.  However, Bing has flashy rollover previews. Will Yahoo share search technology with Bing?

The answer is YES, but here’s the specifics. Yahoo will look the same as it currently does, but it will work a little differently.

PPC advertising results across the top and sides of Yahoo will exactly match the order of BING advertising results.  Paid search customers of Yahoo and Bing will be combined under a Yahoo account.  Sales people from Microsoft and Yahoo are currently comparing notes on their customers and working together to consolidate Bing and Yahoo paid search customers under one account.

Organic search results on Yahoo will initially have Bing algorithm feeding the list of results.  Yahoo will keep its structured data results (like shopping, maps, video, etc) popping in as rich snippets throughout the Bing generated search results. However, Yahoo will look the same as it does now – same style same interface.  None of the Bing flashy rollover previews or other search products will be infused into Yahoo.

Only those of us who recognize the difference in algorithm search results will notice a difference in Yahoo after it is injected with Bing technology… oh and also those people who have an organic listing in Yahoo bringing in business. Bing handles 302 redirects differently, so you may see multiple listings for the same website above yours if it uses a 302 redirect, pushing other results further down the page of off the first page.  Bing sometimes has trouble determining the homepage of a website and often treats the www.domain.com page separately from http://domain.com (without the www).  This can be a sign that link juice and power going into the top level of your site is split between www version and non-www version.  So will you likely find your website not showing up in the same position in Yahoo and possibly missing the www if you do not use a 301 base URL rewrite.

The interesting news, is that search technology for Bing will improve as Yahoo developers will be moved into Bing.  Yes, that’s right. Yahoo organic search engine developers will be working under the Bing roof to help infuse Yahoo’s advanced search algorithms into Bing.  This will bring Bing’s organic search technology closer to the quality of Google.

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