Yahoo! is now testing organic and paid search listings from Microsoft. Big news coming from Yahoo considering its search traffic is up 25% in the U.S. and now users may see organic listings from Microsoft., and up to 3.5% may see paid listings from Microsoft adCenter.Remember, this is all stemming from the Search Alliance announced earlier this year.
So what does all of this mean for SEO Guys? Well it’s a new playing field with Microsoft and Yahoo search engines now, meaning that things are going to be changing. Yahoo is not changing the look or feel of its search engine, it is just going to be pulling data from Microsoft’s adCenter. This feature is still in testing, and only certain adCenter subscriber ads are going to be tested for the time being. Some of search results will be displayed differently.
Here is an example, provided by Yahoo, in which Microsoft-powered parts are represented by the yellow boxes:
So what does it really mean for SEO Guys? Well Yahoo has got you covered! They provided some times for the organic search:
1. Compare your organic search rankings on Yahoo! Search and Bing for the keywords that work best for you.
2. Decide if you’d like to modify your paid search campaigns to compensate for any changes in organic referrals that you anticipate
3. Review the Bing webmaster tools and optimize your website for the Microsoft platform crawler, as Bing listings will be displayed approximately 30% of search queries after this change, according to comScore.
Microsoft is recommending that you review your Robots.txt file to ensure that you have the same identical polices for msnbot/Bingbot and Yahoo’s bots. It should also be noted that there will not be an increase in traffic to your site because of the transition.
The new “Bingbot” will crawl non-optimized sites more easily. According to Microsoft, the Bing web crawler will be coming out of its shell in beta form October 1st. The new crawler will be branded as “the Bingbot” and it will surely replace the existing msnbot. Your existing Robots.txt entries related to the msnbot will still be honored by the Bingbot, so you don’t really need to change anything there.
Now is a good time to review your Bing Webmaster Tools accounts and your Yahoo! Site Explorer accounts to make sure everything is up to date. Re-creating an xml-sitemap and re-submitting it will also not be a bad idea. I would also review your robots.txt file to ensure no errors exist there. One last thing to do is to make sure, if your website has a feed, that it is properly listed and working. Of course if you need any help do not hesitate to contact us.