Microsoft/Yahoo! Deal Means A Bigger and Better Bing

Microsoft’s fledgling search engine Bing is getting a boost. In a deal announced yesterday, Microsoft is taking over Yahoo!’s search technology. Bing, which was unveiled last month, will be the exclusive algorithmic search and paid search platform for Yahoo! sites.

The 10-year arrangement will enable Yahoo! to cut operating costs and focus on selling advertising on the Web. For Microsoft, it will give Bing access to Yahoo’s audience, effectively tripling it.

Both Microsoft and Yahoo! have been long battling search giant Google, with each spending billions in technology in the past 10 years. Knowing that its rivals were gunning for it, Google had tried to forge its own search advertising deal with Yahoo! last year.

But the move was thwarted by U.S. antitrust threats. Some expect Google will in turn try to block the Microsoft/Yahoo! deal.

Not that Google has reason to be too worried just yet. Even with Microsoft and Yahoo! joining forces, Google remains the clear leader with about two-thirds of market share in U.S. searches.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement that the agreement will provide Bing the scale it needs to better compete and attract more users and advertisers to deliver more relevant ads and search results. Has Bing made any splash in search so far?

Stephan Spencer, president/CEO/founder of Netconcepts describes Bing as “Google lite, because it’s index is so much smaller, with a dash of Ask, due to the previews.”

Netconcepts hasn’t seen anything radical in regard to Bing in monthly reports when it audits positioning of benchmarked keywords, Spencer notes. “Perhaps we’ll see a different trend as monthly reports are prepared. For now, it’s only the GUI that’s different from Live/MSN search.”