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The Microsoft/Yahoo deal and what it means to you

If you haven’t already heard, Yahoo finally gave in to Microsoft’s advances, and Bing will be the new search provider on Yahoo peroperties:

In a deal that presages its departure from a market it helped pioneer, Yahoo will scrap its own efforts to best Google in search and instead rely on Microsoft’s recently debuted Bing search engine. Ads placed next to those search results would be served up not by Yahoo’s ad platform, dubbed Panama, but by a Microsoft technology called AdCenter. Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz “is essentially giving up on search,” says Danny Sullivan, editor of Search Engine Land.

According to Danny’s twitter feed, even though this is “only” a 10 year deal, Yahoo won’t be maintaining its current search engine at all during that time, so it is in effect dead. Once the deaql expires Yahoo won’t be able to “go back” to a Yahoo search algorithm.

How does this affect you? If you run a web site take the tiem today to look at your referer stats. Where are your visitors coming from? Chances are most are from Google, but you may have a sizable chuck of traffic coming from Yahoo search. Do you have any traffic coming from Bing? How is your SEO for Yahoo search vs. Bing? Once all the regulatory red tape is complete Yahoo search is effectively gone, and all of those Yahoo users will be using Bing search instead.