Do We Now Have Real Competition Between The Search Engines?

In case you haven’t heard, Yahoo! and Microsoft have finally announced what everyone, ourselves included, have been speculating for several weeks – a merger – of sorts anyway. To call it a merger is probably a little misleading given the current definition of the term. It is probably more correct to say they have come to an understanding to share resources.

Whichever way you look at it, Microsoft and Bing will take over all organic search between the two whilst Yahoo! will stick to what it probably does best and that is to concentrate on relationship sales. This is probably a win-win for the two companies, but what about the users, and more importantly, what will it do for SEO?

In the long run the answer to the later part of that question will depend on how much organic traffic the Bing/Yahoo! search partnership win. One could expect in the short term to see a slight rise in their share but it will only be significant if there is an equal drop in Google’s share. For now, SEO will most likely continue unchanged.

For users, their options have shrunk by one. However, the combined power of both search technologies may well see a search engine that actually delivers. I asked in an earlier post if Microsoft would become the new leader in search engine technology? Whilst the combined efforts of Yahoo! and Microsoft should see exciting advances in search, the answer will depend on how Google responds to this new arrangement.

Of course this whole discussion could become moot if it fails to gain regulatory approval. Where Microsoft is concerned, nothing is certain given their battles with regulatory authorities in the past. It will certainly be interesting to see how this partnership pans out into the future – with luck we will have real competition between the search engines!

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