What's Next for Paid Search on Yahoo?

sam.engel Oct 26, 2015

Paid search could be in for some big changes on Yahoo. After reaching a new search deal with Microsoft in April that afforded it more autonomy, Yahoo has now announced a separate deal with Google.

Why run two separate deals with different search engines? "Flexibility" was one of the key factors that Yahoo mentioned in its announcement. Interestingly, the new agreements give Yahoo the freedom to pool paid search ads from three sources: Google, Bing, and Yahoo's own Gemini advertising platform.

What Can We Expect from the New Yahoo?

That freedom does include one major limitation: on desktop searches at least 51% of ads must be sourced from Bing.

Yahoo can choose to divvy up the remaining 49% however it wants between Google, its own platform, and any other provider it may strike a deal with. That leaves the following potential shares of desktop advertising on Yahoo:

  • Bing: 51% or more
  • Google: up to 49%
  • Yahoo Gemini: up to 49%

For mobile advertising, that structure goes out the window. Yahoo is free to choose any distribution it wants. It could split 50/50 between Bing and Google, or go all-in on its own Gemini platform. Any combination is up for grabs.

What Geographies Do These Deals Cover?

The Yahoo-Bing agreement is described as a "global partnership."

The Yahoo-Google deal covers North America as well as some parts of South America, Asia, and Oceania. The full list is available about halfway into the Search Engine Land article.

How Will Things Change?

With the requirement of 51% share for Bing on desktop search, Yahoo won't completely change overnight. However, we've already started observing significant shifts in our quarterly report on branded keywords, so the Google deal is likely to magnify those. As always, we'll be keeping a close eye on those trends in upcoming reports!

Topics: Search Engine Updates

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