Are you ready? Did you know? Do you care?
….about the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance. Yes, the time is nearly upon us as pointed out by the following email:
Organic Search Transition:
To date, we’ve focused most of our communications to you on the paid search transition to adCenter. However, another key aspect of the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance is the transition of Yahoo! organic search results (those found on the main body of the page). Assuming our testing continues to yield high quality results, we anticipate that our organic search results will be powered by Bing beginning in the August/September timeframe.
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:
• Compare your organic search rankings on Yahoo! Search and Bing for the keywords that drive your business, to help determine any potential impact to your traffic and sales
• Decide if you’d like to modify your paid search campaigns to compensate for any changes in organic referrals that you anticipate
• Review the Bing webmaster tools and optimize your website for the Bing crawler, as Bing results will be displayed for approximately 30%* of overall search query market share after this change
For more specifics on the organic search transition, please refer to the Self-service Advertiser FAQs on the Yahoo! Transition Center.
And it looks like that testing is well underway. Rustybrick has taken a snapshot of two not too dissimilar sets of SERPs from both Yahoo! and Bing.
But Bing themselves have gone a step further by actually stepping back and asking you not to blame them should your Yahoo! SERPs take a dive once they start running the show properly:
During this testing phase, it’s important to look at how your site is showing up in search results on Yahoo! and Bing today, so you can assess if there are any tweaks you need to make or feedback you need to share with the team to make sure your site is accurately represented in Bing’s results. In particular, now is a good time for you to review your crawl policies in your robots.txt and ensure that you have identical polices for the msnbot/Bingbot and Yahoo’s bots. Just to note, you should not see an increase in bingbot traffic as a result of the transition.
In other words, start optimizing for Bing while not ignoring Yahoo! even though they’re about to be redundant in all but name from a search standpoint.
Just think yourself lucky you’re not on either PR department.