Goliath Google sees Yahoo off the Australian search stage: Now it’s down to Bing

Gary NissimSix weeks after Yahoo and Bing parted ways in the Australian market, Yahoo Search Marketing has shut up shop. Agency M ‘s Gary Nissim explains what this means.

The ink hasn’t had the chance to dry since I wrote an article about Yahoo Search Marketing and Bing parting ways. It might have only happened a few weeks ago but the question I posed of how Bing and Yahoo independently planned on making headway in the search market, has been answered. Or partly answered, anyway.

Shortly it will be announced that you will no longer be able to advertise on Yahoo’s search engine directly, you will need to do so via Google. Yahoo has thrown down its sling and Goliath has won.

yahoo search marketing

What does this mean for advertisers practically?

It means that when you opt in to advertise on Google’s search partners, which include sites such as AOL, Excite.com and Amazon, you’ll now also be targeting Yahoo. You cannot choose what partner sites to target, including Yahoo, as they are all grouped together. (Although Google is traditionally quite transparent, it does not reveal which sites make up its search partners.)

You can, in a convoluted fashion using analytics, work out what sites within the search partners are generating traffic and or conversions. But as you cannot target those sites individually, it makes the task futile.

As smaller advertisers often choose not to target Yahoo but are automatically opted into Google’s search partners (it’s an opt-out thing), I foresee our clients’ campaigns decreasing in performance. Obviously I don’t know this for certain, but we’ll know soon enough.

What does this mean for the future?

It means Google’s market share has grown but it’s not that Yahoo’s share was significant enough to make a huge difference. The issue is that our hope of having a valid competitor to Google is now solely vested in Bing, which has only been a standalone engine for a number of weeks. (You could argue that AdLux is also around, but without any solid backing or real innovation it will continue to remain unknown outside of search geek circles.)

It would still be great to understand what Bing’s strategy is to increase market share and whether it’s planning on providing consumers with the type of functionality the US has access to – that would at least set Bing apart from Google.

Either way, it’s a sad day. I’ve always enjoyed working with Yahoo Search Marketing and have taken pride in supporting the underdog. Over the years the company has employed some good friends, certainly some of the best characters in the industry and its football (soccer) competitions will always be remembered.

Gary Nissim is the GM at digital agency Agency M Australia.


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