Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yahoo and Microsoft have gotten together.

Announced this morning, Microsoft and Yahoo have signed an agreement to join search forces in an attempt to end their irrelevance in that space. An oddly out-dated looking website has also been created to pimp the agreement here.

Some bullets:

  • The deal extends for 10 years (which seems like far too long a commitment)
  • Bing will drive search, algorithmically, but Microsoft has a 10 year license to integrate any existing Yahoo search technologies. So there's some potential there for a better combined product.
  • Yahoo gets to sell search for both companies (although "premium" partners are specifically addressed).
  • Self-serve customers for both companies will funnel through Microsoft's AdCenter interface, which needs (and should get) dramatic usability improvement.

Ultimately (and assuming the DOJ approves the deal) this is probably good for the public in general. My personal experience with AdCenter results has been pretty poor, but adding all of Yahoo traffic should certainly help (should be approximately 30% of total search traffic). If Microsoft is serious about competing with Google however, particularly in the self-serve realm, they will absolutely need to improve AdCenter. Otherwise this merger just creates larger "also-ran".


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