The Yahoo-Microsoft search transition is picking up momentum. Yahoo announced a number of things today relevant to the change over. They concern the organic search transition, SearchMonkey and Site Explorer.
Yahoo announced that later this week the organic transition will commence for PC and mobile results in North America:
This is an important step toward our goal of improving the overall relevance of Yahoo! organic search results and attracting a larger audience to Yahoo! Search, to ultimately put your ads in front of more potential customers. You’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared for this change, so be sure to check out these tips and stay tuned to the Yahoo! Search blog for confirmation of when the organic search transition is complete.
A “powered by Bing” message at the bottom of results will indicate that these results are live.
Yahoo also said that limited testing of paid account transitions has begun. There will be a “transition” portal with “simple step-by-step [instructions for] creating a Microsoft Advertising adCenter account and importing your campaigns, or linking an existing adCenter account you may already have.”
Search Monkey will continue on but with substantial changes:
All of the existing enhanced result templates will continue to be generated from websites’ page markup and structured data feeds, and Yahoo! will continue to show this structured data on the Yahoo! Search results page, along with Microsoft’s organic listings. Over time, some of this structured data processing will be supported natively by the Microsoft platform. Webmasters will continue to have the ability to affect the presentation of a search result through page markup on their site (microformats and RDFa).
As we look to the future of Yahoo! Search, we are focusing on new search-related offerings we believe will provide additional value for publishers and partners. In order to align our resources on strategic priorities, we have decided to close the SearchMonkey developer tool, gallery, and app preferences on October 1, 2010. As a result, third party custom result apps, infobar apps, and data services will no longer appear on Yahoo!’s search results. For developers who wish to retain their code, please export it using your favorite copy/paste tool before then.
Site Explorer will continue to be used by Yahoo until 2012 when the organic transition is complete:
[Y]ou should continue to provide your site information to Yahoo! using Site Explorer, because in many parts of the world search results will continue to be powered by Yahoo!’s systems until the full transition is complete for all markets by early 2012. This will help to ensure that you continue to get high quality traffic from searches originating on Yahoo! and our partner sites, even in markets that are not yet transitioned to Microsoft’s systems. We will share site information that you provide on Site Explorer with Microsoft during this transition period, to ensure that you get high quality traffic from search results that are powered by Bing also.
However Yahoo also recommends becoming familiar with the Bing Webmaster Center tool in the interim.
- All New Microsoft Bing Webmaster Tools
- What Site Owners, Web Developers & SEOs Should Know About The Yahoo Microsoft Deal
Postscript by Barry Schwartz: I spoke with Yahoo’s Shashi Seth after this announcement and I wanted to clarify that Site Explorer will ultimately be fully integrated into Bing Webmaster Center. Currently, the new Bing webmaster tools is missing a link tool completely. I suspect that was planned and Yahoo’s Site Explorer features will be that link tool in Bing Webmaster Center. We should know more about when Site Explorer’s integration schedule within the next 30 days or so.