Microsoft has begun providing Bing search results to Yahoo as a precursor to delivering the results for all of Yahoo Search, as part of the partnership created by the pair in 2009.
Microsoft officials acknowledged the testing of "the delivery of organic results from Bing to Yahoo! Search" in a Microsoft Advertising blog post on July 20. Microsoft also is testing the delivery of paid search results from Microsoft's adCenter to Yahoo Search as part of the pilot, officials said yesterday.
The test is starting small, but "may increase to include up to 2.5% to 3.5% of live Yahoo! Search traffic in the U.S.," according to company officials.
The effect of these pilots is that some advertisers using adCenter may see increases in traffic for their search campaigns. From yesterday's Microsoft blog post:
"(W)e are not anticipating any significant changes to your expected performance, however you may see some fluctuations in volume as adCenter experiences Yahoo! traffic for the first time. Testing will continue throughout the summer and then volume will gradually increase as we transition. Since the traffic percentages are small, advertisers should not draw any conclusions from what they observe during these tests, as the results may not be indicative of the future marketplace with full Yahoo! volume."
Microsoft and Yahoo have been working with advertisers over the past couple of months to transition them from Yahoo's ad platform to adCenter.The pair are hoping and expecting to complete that transition before holiday 2010.
In July 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo announced a search partnership via which Microsoft will be providing Bing search results to Yahoo, which Yahoo will use across its search properties for 10 years. In return, Yahoo is becoming the worldwide sales force for online ads for both companies, even though. Self-serve and search advertising will be built on Microsoft’s AdCenter ad platform. Microsoft officials are counting on the search deal to boost Bing's traffic beyond the teens, in terms of search share.
ComScore released its latest U.S. search market share results a week or so ago. Both Bing and Yahoo were up slightly for the month of June, according to the comScore data, while Google was down slightly. But as comScore has noted, these numbers are suspect because of how Microsoft and Yahoo are gaming the system by integrating search and slide shows.