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Blog » Yahoo & Microsoft Partner Up To Take On Google With Bing

Yahoo and Microsoft announced a 10 year partnership on 29th July where Yahoo Search will be powered by Microsoft’s new Bing search engine. The agreement is currently in front of regulators and could take two years finalise. The move looks to be one solid step towards a merger after the failed attempt in 2008.

Google is still the King of search and this deal is not expected to de-throne it, but by combining their market share the Microsoft/Yahoo combo will make a more compelling platform for advertiser’s dollars.

Since it’s unveiling in May, Bing has been fairly well received. Personally however, I have no plans to switch. After trying it out a few times, it left me unimpressed with the quality of the search results. Take for example a search for “Nelson web design” (a term I check occasionally to see how sww.co.nz is ranking in local searches). Here are the top 10 search results that Bing returns right now (NZ only search):
Bing Search Results
No. 1 is a valid result, but nos 2 & 3, both from the same domain, are not at all relevant results. In fact they are just temporary development pages on the nelson.co.nz domain of our partner, Digital Promotions, and the real Digital Promotions website appears much further down at position 10. The nelson.co.nz domain crops up again in position 6, another irrelevant result, indicating an overly heavy emphasis on domain name over content. I count only 6 relevant results in the all-important top 10. Not a very smart result for an allegedly ‘smart’ search engine (or ‘decision engine’ as Microsoft prefers to call it).

Here’s what Google returns for the same search:
Google search results
Hey, that’s more like it – Stellar Web Works listed at a respectable 5th position (and even finds it’s way to no. 1 in the map results!). This time all ten results are relevant.

So, after this little test my faith in Bing is definitely a bit shaky. But with the recent Yahoo deal it looks like it is going to become part of the our web developer world and something we are going to have to work with from a SEO perspective. And if it gains traction, a bit of competition for the Google monster might not be a bad thing!

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