Bing and YahooIn February 2010. the U.S. Department of Justice and European Commission approved the partnership between Microsoft and Yahoo! announced in July 2009 to consolidate their search engines into a single powerhouse that will potentially rival Google.  According to the agreement, Microsoft’s Bing will now serve as the search engine on every Yahoo! site.  Additionally, Microsoft will take charge of all paid ads while Yahoo! will regulate sales support for high volume advertisers.  So what does this mean to those in the search engine marketing business?

Essentially, if this partnership means Microsoft and Yahoo! can better compete with Google, then it will ideally mean lower prices for online advertisers across the Web.  Considering Google currently receives 65% of search engine queries, compared to Microsoft’s 17% and Yahoo’s 11%, this new partnership could start to chip away at Google’s overwhelming dominance.  If that starts to happen, Google will inevitably have to lower their paid-ad prices, making the clients of search-engine marketing agencies around the world ecstatic.

From a purely logistical point of view, the partnership may also provide advantages to advertisers and consumers. Because Microsoft will now control all aspects of paid search, marketers will no longer have to monitor both Microsoft’s adCenter and Yahoo!’s Search Marketing.  The two services will be consolidated under the adCenter name so that advertisers can view a single pay-per-click system to check up on analytics and make adjustments.

As the situation unfolds, search engine marketers eagerly await whatever results develop from this potentially game-changing partnership.  Meanwhile, we’ll be on the lookout to see what changes Google will make to try to ensure that their supremacy remains unscathed.