The recently proposed collaboration between Microsoft and Yahoo has the potential to cause a bit of a shakeup in the SEO industry.
The intent is that Yahoo will start to use Bing for their search results, and Microsoft will start to show Yahoo paid ads on their search properties. It is early days yet and still not clear how many of their overlapping products/services are going to be handled. My guess is that some may be consolidated, some will be retained and some may even be dropped all together.
In most cases optimisation strategies are not search engine specific, but there are some differences between the search engine ranking algorithms, and it is possible to tweak techniques to favour one or another search engine. Because of it’s significant market share (particularly in Australia), traditionally most SEO efforts have been geared towards Google rankings. Spending much time and effort on optimising for Yahoo or Bing was often put into the “nice to do” rather than the “must do” priority list.
With a consolidation of Yahoo and Bing Search Results, it may now be worth taking a closer look at Bing specific optimisation strategies. If your site is currently ranking well in Bing but poorly in Yahoo you should be smiling, but if the reverse is true – then maybe you should be a little concerned.
The following video from WebPro News provides a great overview of the proposed collaboration – including some useful points from Danny Sullivan. It is still early days, and if this proposal goes ahead, it is likely to take some time, so while there is probably no need to get nervous yet – you should definitely stay aert.