In an update sent to advertisers today, Yahoo said it will begin serving organic search results from Microsoft’s Bing engine from August or September onwards, as it begins to implement the deal the two companies penned back in July 2009.
Yahoo also reiterated it intends to migrate its paid search ads to Microsoft’s adCenter by the beginning of the holiday season, but that it may choose to defer until 2011 if it concludes it would “improve the overall experience” for advertisers and users.
“If organic search results are an important source of referrals to your website, you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared for this change,” the e-mail read, while advising webmasters to ensure their sites are optimized for the Bing crawler.
Yahoo said much of its testing with Microsoft’s back-end has so far taken place offline, but that it intends to begin testing the delivery of both organic and paid results this month. Testing with paid search volumes would be kept low enough to minimize any potential impact to advertisers’ accounts, the company added.
Yahoo and Microsoft agreed to a deal worth an estimated $700 million in July last year. Under the terms of the partnership, self-serve advertising for campaigns on both Yahoo search and Bing handled by Microsoft’s adCenter platform, with Yahoo licensing its search technology and Panama ad buying system to Microsoft for the life of the 10 year deal. Meanwhile, Yahoo will retain control of search ad sales for premium, human-sold campaigns on both Microsoft and Yahoo-owned websites.
Microsoft agreed to pay Yahoo 88 percent of search revenue generated through Yahoo’s owned and operated properties for the first five years of the relationship, and for the first 18 months of the pairing it will guarantee Yahoo’s revenue per search in each country where it operates, following implementation in that country.
The deal does not include any display advertising, which both entities will continue to run separately.