Back in 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo approved a 10-year deal in which Yahoo gave up the use of its technology for the generation of search advertising listings in favor of Microsoft’s technology (Bing). This meant that Microsoft served all the desktop paid search ads on Yahoo.
In April of this year, Microsoft and Yahoo announced an amendment to this 2009 partnership. It is being touted as a way to improve the search experience and create value for advertisers and its implications are far reaching. As a brief recap, (please read Yahoo-Bing Update Partnership Agreement for full details), Yahoo and Microsoft will both handle portions (49% and 51% respectively) of the Yahoo desktop paid search ads traffic. This is a big step towards Yahoo’s goal of reclaiming the search market because, while it still needs the Bing technology infrastructure to compete in the market, it now has increased flexibility to focus on the development of the Gemini platform, which may ultimately be able to replace the Bing technology to which they are currently tied.
The amendment also bolsters the sales focus for both companies. Microsoft will handle all the Bing Ad campaigns (remember the 51%), while Yahoo retains its exclusivity to the Yahoo Gemini platform across all devices (49% + mobile and native ads). This move allows for the engineering and sales sides of each company to be integrated together, which will improve their ability to service advertisers providing them with two representatives, one from each company. This will also foster the accelerated development of betas for advertisers on Yahoo and catalyze innovation on the Gemini platform.
What this currently means for advertisers
Starting this month and continuing through October 2015, Bing will begin transitioning support for their accounts to a dedicated Microsoft team. Advertisers are being transitioned to the Microsoft billing platform in waves, with each formal transition being completed on the Microsoft side every Tuesday, once all the relevant information has been gathered. The Bing transition process begins with updating billing and payment information, including new insertion orders (IOs). Once that is complete and the new paperwork is signed, Bing accounts will stop syncing with Yahoo and will transition fully. Don’t worry, your billing can be transferred over to Microsoft with no impact to your campaign performance. Yahoo will also continue to provide support for their Gemini accounts.
Adlucent has been working closely with its new Microsoft and Bing representatives to ensure a smooth transition for all of its accounts. Client involvement at this point is limited to input on the billing information needed and approving IOs and payment methods.
What advertisers can expect to come
Some key opportunities will be in store for advertisers and are worth putting on your radar now. These opportunities will involve understanding Yahoo's offering, which includes native advertising and Gemini Product Ads, and tapping into the Gemini Search traffic that is shifting from Bing. Moving forward, Adlucent will be actively involved in any beta opportunities and will explore how to best leverage the developing Gemini platform.