It’s official: the organic search results for Yahoo! will this month be entirely replaced by the organic search results for Bing. The change represents the latest effort of Yahoo and Microsoft, the two companies behind the second and third most popular English language search engines, to make a dent in the market share of industry leader Google.
The merging of Yahoo! and Bing’s search results went into effect in the USA and Canada last year; now Australia is catching up in 2011.
What does this mean for the web user? While the two search engines will retain separate interfaces, the results from both search engines will become identical as they will run on the same Microsoft-developed algorithm.
What does this mean for SEO? It is expected that you will notice a fluctuation in your search results in Yahoo!/Bing in the month or two following the transition. Don’t freak out! The rankings will stabilise eventually.
The exception is for websites that had great rankings in Yahoo! but not so great rankings in Bing. Unfortunately, these websites will probably lose out on rankings as as a result of this change.
There is good news though for people worried about the transition. The main principles for SEO will still be the same for both Bing/Yahoo! and Google – such as content, links, and regular website updates. Search engine algorithms are universal in their appreciation of these factors.
We also recommend that you keep an eye out in Google Analytics search engine traffic sources for fluctuations, submit your website to Bing, and sign up for Bing Webmaster Tools.