Yahoo is migrating its organic search results in the European market to Microsoft’s Bing platform, marking the next stage in a broad-based transition that began in the United States.
Blogs such as SearchEngineLand reposted a note from Yahoo detailing the switchover. “The organic search transition will begin on August 3, 2011, for Yahoo! European properties in the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Italy,” read a notice offered by Yahoo. “If organic search results are an important source of referrals to your Website, you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared for this change.”
Preparation for those changes, apparently, includes comparing organic search rankings on Yahoo Search and Bing “for the keywords that drive your business” in order to “help determine any potential impact to your traffic and sales,” reviewing Bing Webmaster tools, and deciding whether paid search campaigns need to be modified.
Yahoo is “not transitioning paid search results at this time,” the note concludes, but will apparently notify users before such an event takes place.
Yahoo completed the transfer of its back-end search to Bing in the United States back in August 2010, following the terms of an agreement signed in the summer of 2009. Under the terms of that agreement, Yahoo would take over worldwide sales-force duties for both companies’ search advertisers.
Yahoo executives have repeatedly claimed that, despite Bing’s handling their back-end search, their Web properties will continue to maintain a robust Web presence. Over the past year, Yahoo has introduced a variety of new features to its core properties designed to retain and attract users.
Meanwhile, combining Yahoo’s search-engine share with Bing’s will allow the latter to compete more heartily than Google, which currently dominates the search-engine market. Bing has gained incremental but steady market share over the past two years, but that’s come at an enormous cost to Microsoft, whose online services division lost $2.56 billion over the last fiscal year despite a rise in revenue.
“This is a long-term journey,” Qi Lu, president of the division, told The New York Times July 30.
In addition to focusing on the granular features that supposedly differentiate it as a “decision engine”-including the ability to search for flights and deals on products-Microsoft seems intent on boosting Bing’s viability via partnerships with other companies. That includes not only Redmond’s deal with Yahoo to handle the latter’s back-end search, but also a deepening relationship with Facebook.