Thursday, August 20, 2009

Microsoft-Yahoo Deal

As of Wednesday last week, the dance is over. Microsoft and Yahoo entered into a 10-year search-and-advertising agreement that effectively takes the latter out of the search business and finally makes Microsoft a search contender. What does this mean for the search field? And what does this mean for SEO?

To get the answer to these questions, we need to take a closer look at the deal itself. It seems as if it's being covered nearly everywhere, but Search Engine Land and SEOMoz provide especially good information on the details and tease out the significance. Much of my summary will be taken from these two sources.

Basically, the agreement grants Microsoft a 10-year license to Yahoo's core search technologies. The software giant can, if it chooses, integrate the venerable search engine's technologies into its own. Meanwhile, Yahoo has agreed to, in effect, get out of the search engine business. Once the deal is finalized (and it is subject to regulatory approval), every time you search on Yahoo, it will be Microsoft's search engine - now named Bing, and formerly known as Live and MSN - that actually delivers the results.

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