The search environment has indeed taken on a new chapter in these past few months. The much anticipated development is the Search Alliance 鈥攖 he historic partnership between Bing and Yahoo 鈥攁 nd everyone is hoping to capitalize on it, even with Google 鈥檚 continued leadership in the field. While this development is being cooked, here were the events that occurred the search arena these past 2 months: Google has taken a dip sharewise in the past quarter, but it has managed to keep within 62% of the market share in the US alone (dropping 1.1 points from May ). Bing, on the other hand, improved up to 12.7% (.6 points up from its previous position), though this is still far from breaking the dominance of Google. On the other hand, Yahoo also goes up to 18.9% (0.6 points up from its previous position). In a not-too-distant hindsight event, Bing which was re-launched last year as Microsoft 鈥檚 鈥渄 ecision 鈥?engine, accelerated from 11.6% to 49.4% growth rate for queries by the end of the year. Google, on the other hand, recorded 20.6% growth, while Yahoo dipped by 1.9%. Query wise, Bing had an 8% market share upon launch in May 2009; by December it had almost 11%. Bing is also said to be taking over the search functions for Yahoo. (An exception would be in Japan, where the local Yahoo franchise contracted Google to run the search system). This would mean a further climb to prominence from Bing, and the minimizing of Yahoo home input into their system. It could also play a factor in Yahoo Search Marketing 鈥檚 current #2 position among US search networks, and may either trigger a move to Microsoft Ad Center; or a revamp of the system, with Yahoo hardly squandering its current position, but introducing new rules to their system. Yahoo Search Marketing itself has also put up a transition center for the companies advertising through their search. This page is complete with bullet points, and details that need to be undertaken. It also has put up some Editorial guidelines to also serve as a guide for the transition process. And if there was still any doubt where the new information for Yahoo will come from, the Bing Search Blog couldn 鈥檛 have stated it any better: "For webmasters, it 鈥檚 important to be familiar with how the Bing crawler interacts with your site. After the full algorithmic transition is complete, you only need to optimize for one crawler (Bing), as we will provide Yahoo! with results from our index.鈥? In lieu of this movement in the search arena, we can now prepare on how to use the upcoming search merger. Here are the tips on how to partake in the ad keyword chase for the Search Alliance revamp. Keep researching statistics on Google. Here 鈥檚 a useful tip: Google doesn 鈥檛 have much difference with Bing yet in terms of bidding 鈥攁 lthough it is slightly up by some points. So, if you have a keyword tool, think twice about getting rid of the research aspect of it, especially the part mentioning the Daily Ad Budget, Clicks per Day, Average Cost per Click and so on. It could still be useful for your transition strategy. KeywordSpy 鈥檚 Research module can provide you information on a keyword in the Adwords network, including its Search Volume, Google CPC, and the PPC advertisers using it, among others. But one nifty feature is knowledge of the other keywords remotely connected to it, whether by definition, category or even misspellings. What 鈥檚 more, knowing related keywords will give you the terms on which you could build your Tracking campaign later on to cover the other two search engines. Since you would want to monitor the performance of these keywords in real time, you would then include them in your own tracking campaign. Consider getting keyword tools which cover Bing and Yahoo: Now, if you already have a Tracking module with KeywordSpy, now 鈥檚 the best time to make use of it. If not, then better avail of it now. Since it allows you to track keywords over Bing and Yahoo, and in key territories at that, consider this as your edge once you compete with competitors in other engines and get a share of their market there. To illustrate, we look at the weight loss market. Through KeywordSpy Tracking, we create a campaign using keywords such as: 鈥渨 eight loss, fat loss, lose weight, dieting plans, fast crash diets, no carb diet 鈥?among others. Once we have included them in a Tracking campaign over Google, Yahoo and Bing, and run them for at least a day, we get to know other websites using the keywords and get the following raw PPC information from a sample of websites: 1) NutriSystem.com Google: Keywords -37; Ads 鈥?77; Coverage 鈥?17.91% Yahoo: Keywords -32; Ads 鈥?237; Coverage 鈥?11.92% Bing: Keywords -37; Ads 鈥?77; Coverage 鈥?17.91% 2) Shape.com Google: Keywords -35; Ads 鈥?1504; Coverage 鈥?7.73% Yahoo: Keywords -39; Ads 鈥?1393; Coverage 鈥?25.27% Bing: Keywords 鈥揘/A; Ads 鈥?N/A; Coverage 鈥?N/A 3) Smarter.com Google: Keywords -3; Ads 鈥?619; Coverage 鈥?0.00% Yahoo: Keywords -42; Ads 鈥?60878; Coverage 鈥?17.91% Bing: Keywords -17; Ads 鈥?16266; Coverage 鈥?0.00% *N/A 鈥?No information tracked With information from the Tracking module, you can see which competitors are using more keywords, and for what category. Take for example, Nutrisystem.com. They seem to be running a well-balanced coverage campaign, covering 17.91% of the PPC keyword market in Google, 11.92% for the keywords on Yahoo and 5.83% on Bing. Now, as Bing would be the major beneficiary of the alliance, I would consider taking advantage of the results here for my PPC campaign on Bing. I wouldn 鈥檛 want to take my stranglehold off of Yahoo, though, being a considerable leader in that field. If I were Shape.com or Smarter.com, though, I would be a little concerned, since Bing would be the prime mover in the search alliance, and I would have no ads there. Given the tight timetable, I would probably put in ads on Bing as an experiment. Then tracking the keywords over time, I could then gauge their feasibility once I have incorporated them into the Search Alliance network. Now for Organic data tracked for the keywords, different results will be shown. But aside from the difference in websites, there is also a difference in metrics, with the Ads metric out (This is obviously due to ads not applicable as a measure for Organic data). Some of the websites admittedly are hardly related to the type of sites we wished to investigate. However, there are mainly related websites, including the one stated below: Freedieting.com Google: Keywords -16; Coverage 鈥?12.96% Yahoo: Keywords 鈥?16; Coverage - 11.26% Bing: Keywords -24; Coverage 鈥?21.03% While it has 12.66% coverage of keywords on Google, and 11.26% coverage on Yahoo, it leads in Bing with 21.03% of the coverage. So it looks like the site is up for a good headstart on Bing, in the organic ranking aspect. Do experiments on creating further Ad Campaigns for Bing and Yahoo: Whether or not the new Search Alliance will have an ads editor remains to be seen, but you can test the waters with the search networks of the two individual search engines. Testing with Bing would be also advised, given that it will control the search algorithms. If you have campaigns already with Yahoo and Bing, you 鈥檙 e off to a good start, but also consider tweaking the campaigns a bit also if you have room for small risks. KeywordSpy, as we all know, has the new Advanced PPC Exporter for domain searches, which will enable you to do quick exports to campaigns in either Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing or Microsoft Ad Center formats 鈥攃 omplete with auto bid features and match type generators. This will make tweaking more convenient for you by shortening the time needed for you to set up campaigns, and devoting it instead to the analysis of the performance of these campaigns. A disclaimer, though: The foresights mentioned do not take into account the growth prediction for the Search Alliance as it is. However, with a slow, steady growth, the component search engines of Bing and Yahoo appear to establish themselves as prominent forces. For this Google must also be mindful. And so should you.
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