Yahoo and Bing Update Their Relationship Status

Maria Breaux
April 27, 2015

Last month, Yahoo and Microsoft announced that they are revising the terms of their search partnership in hopes to “improve the search experience, create value for advertisers and establish ongoing stability for partners”, according to the Yahoo press release.

First, some background on the partnership. Yahoo and Microsoft formed a partnership in 2009 in an effort to provide advertisers with a viable alternative to online search advertising by combining the technology of both companies. Based on the original terms of the agreement, Microsoft would provide paid and algorithmic search services on desktop to Yahoo exclusively. Additionally, a revenue sharing agreement was put in place where Microsoft would pay Yahoo a percentage of Bing Ads revenue delivered from Yahoo searches.

What will change? The changes to the partnership agreement will come into effect starting in Q3 2015. These changes include:

  1. 1. Microsoft will become the exclusive sales force for ads delivered through the Bing Ads platform. This means a single customer experience and increased connectivity for all things Microsoft advertising, including display advertising.
  2. 2. Previously, Bing served all Yahoo desktop search impressions. Under the new terms, Bing will, at minimum, now serve 51% of impressions, with the remaining 49% left to the discretion of Yahoo as to how they will be served. Based on comScore data*, it’s estimated that Bing will continue to power at least 26% of the total search market share, that’s 100% of Bing Traffic and 51% of Yahoo PC traffic.
  3. 3. Microsoft will develop their own sales force to sell Bing ads to enterprise and SMB advertisers. They’re now also free to pursue high quality syndication partners. Meanwhile, Yahoo will be selling desktop ads through Gemini, making it the go-to platform for ads on Yahoo.

For advertisers, this updated partnership makes it a great time to explore advertising on Bing and Yahoo. Bing has been experiencing enormous growth, going from 8% to 20% search share in just six years. With the growth of cross-device advertising, Bing provides you with a direct line to your audience through their device integration with Windows phones, Apple (iOS and Spotlight on Mac OS), Kindle Fire HD and Fire Phone, and Xbox. And even more exciting is that Cortana, Microsoft’s personal assistant powered by Bing, will be integrated directly into Windows 10.

On the Yahoo front, these changes signify Yahoo’s decision to take a greater ownership over their search ads making this a great time to consider including Gemini in your advertising strategy. As Gemini’s presence in the advertising world continues to grow, it is worth looking into expanding your audience reach with this versatile platform that provides advertisers with the ability to advertise across mobile and desktop devices for both search and native ads. For more information on Gemini, check out Native Joins Search with Yahoo Gemini.

*Source: comScore Explicit Core Search (custom), March 2015

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