Yahoo Extends Microsoft Search Deal & Revenue Guarantees

microsoft-yahoo-logosYahoo is giving Microsoft a further chance to prove that its search ads really can make Yahoo as much money as promised — at a price. Microsoft has agreed to extend “search revenue guarantees” that it has continually paid since the two companies signed a deal in 2009.

Yahoo Declares An Extension

Reuters spotted the extension as part of Yahoo’s latest quarterly financial filing:

On April 30, 2013, Microsoft extended the RPS Guarantee in the U.S. for an additional 12 months commencing April 1, 2013.

Second Time Guarantee Extended

To translate into plain language, when Yahoo & Microsoft signed a search deal in 2009, Microsoft promised that Yahoo would earn a set amount of money for each search that happens, a “revenue per search” or RPS. If this didn’t happen, Microsoft agreed to make up the difference, what’s called the RPS guarantee.

Microsoft has failed to deliver the expected RPS ever since the deal was signed. It was originally set to expire 18 months after the “paid search transition” from Yahoo to Microsoft had been deemed concluded. But in the fourth quarter of 2011, Microsoft agreed to extend the guarantee through March 31, 2013.

My past story explains more about all this, in depth: As The Yahoo-Microsoft Search Alliance Falls Short, Could A Yahoo-Google Deal Emerge?

That leads to today’s news, that Microsoft has extended the guarantee now a second time, taking it out through March 31, 2014.

Why? Quite simple. If Microsoft can’t deliver, Yahoo potentially can walk away from the deal and go to someone else … like Google.

Will Yahoo Go Google In 2014?

The date to watch is March 31, 2014. If Microsoft fails to deliver for a third time on RPS, Yahoo potentially could abandon the ten year deal. For more on that, see our two related posts:

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Microsoft & Yahoo Search Deal | Top News | Yahoo: Business Issues


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Ittiam

    I think there is atleast one mistake in one of the years mentioned… Do check

  • Eric Cheung

    Agree – it mentioned 2013 incorrectly

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