A search engine subbing out their organic results isn’t a new thing. But now, in a web once filled with search engines, only two search engines provide their own organic and paid results: Google and the other one Bing.
SEO Boy’s own Jennya has written pretty comprehensive list of tools to reset your SEO for a new Bing world. It’s a must-read, and I’m going to use it as a checklist. But there’s something strange to this “Microhoo” deal – this Yahoo!/Bing “arrangement:”
What’s intriguing is that of all the offerings, Yahoo! choose to sub out their bread & butter in order to stay afloat.
Search Engines, though initially made with pure attentions, don’t stay afloat because they make money off the results. Search Engines make money off the advertising they can sell via the traffic they generate.
If I had to guess, I would have to say that the cost of keeping the search engine technology relevant – upgrading hardware, code and establishing vendor relations – while at the same time keeping and in step with the new sources of data – Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, blogs… – was overwhelming. I can’t imagine what it cost Google to do the same. Or Bing.
But unlike search engines in the past, Yahoo!’s aces up their sleeve will probably keep them around longer, keep them relevant. And with the deal, Yahoo! will probably have the capital to free themselves up for additional R&D projects. And if Yahoo! has been good with anything, it’s been user experience tools.
User experience tools that will keep Yahoo! Relevant
Flickr - I forget that Yahoo! owns Flickr (until I have to login). If you were to math out the traffic from Compete.com, you’d find that Flickr adds 20% to Yahoo’s overall traffic. Who couldn’t do with another 20 million hits a month? And Flickr’s popularity continues to grow. It’ll be great to see what Yahoo! plans to do with the site to keep it current.
Yahoo! Analytics – Matt Lillig, Sr. Analytics Lead at Yahoo! & Yahoo! Web Analytics just tweeted my employer’s account to tell me that Yahoo! Analytics will still very much be around after the merger is complete. It will be interesting to see what the pricing will be for Yahoo! Analytics once the merger is complete. With real time results, Yahoo! Analytics could become a traffic-catcher if it becomes completely free.
Email & Fantasy Sports – Say what you will about them, but it comes down to what the users want. And given that the tools are supported with Twitter, Facebook as well as Yahoo! News and Sports, Email and Fantasy Sports will continue to be traffic-catchers.
In the end, most users will only care about their user experience. It’s the industry that will be more snobbish about where the search results come from.
Either way, Google will be watching down from Mt. Olympus, supporting Microhoo’s every move in hopes the merger will keep the monopoly police off their backs.