What’s New With Bing & Yahoo Search Alliance

Yahoo has provided an update on the current status of the transition over to Bing’s search technology.

On the organic side, Yahoo began testing Bing powered results. They are currently testing Bing powered results on about 25 percent of the traffic. They hope to transition over to Bing fully, sometime in September or October. That is, of course, if their tests go well.

On the paid side, Yahoo is currently testing Bing powered ads, adCenter ads, on about 3.5% of the search queries. Yahoo has provided a detailed PDF document detailing the difference between the Yahoo and Microsoft adCenter platforms. It is critical for Yahoo to communicate these difference to their current advertisers, in order for there to be a smooth transition.

Key Differences Between Platforms:

  • Distribution tactic is done on the ad group level with adCenter, but account level with Yahoo
  • Microsoft will enable the same domain blocking capabilities by the time Yahoo is transitioned over
  • Microsoft offers more match types than Yahoo does, giving more control to advertisers.
  • Geo-targeting techniques is currently less sophisticated on Microsoft’s side
  • Microsoft will add more “excluded keywords” to adCenter, matching Yahoo’s current limits
  • Microsoft’s keyword mapping is more normalized, so you will likely need to add more keywords to your adCenter campaigns, but it does give you more control
  • Ad title copy length is 25 characters on adCenter, from 40 characters on Yahoo. Make sure to shorten your titles.
  • Minimum bids are 5 cents on Microsoft and 1 cent on Yahoo.
  • Rich Ads are not available on Microsoft, but will be coming to Microsoft adCenter in the future


Between August and October, Yahoo’s representatives will reach out, discussing how Yahoo will be handling and transitioning accounts from Yahoo to adCenter. Yahoo will be handling all account management, so your reps may not change. Between August and September, advertisers will login to their accounts to pick the transition type. During that time frame, they will also sign any new IOs that are necessary. In late September, Yahoo will begin transitioning over the accounts to adCenter.

Three Transition Options:

(1) Keep your existing adCenter account and augment that

(2) Create a new adCenter account and import your 3rd party (i.e. Google) structure

(3) Create a new adCenter account and import your Yahoo! structure

For more information, see the YSM blog and the transition center.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Microsoft & Yahoo Search Deal | Microsoft: Bing Ads | Yahoo: Business Issues | Yahoo: Search | Yahoo: Search Ads


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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