It was back in April when Yahoo! and Microsoft revised their partnership agreement. Yahoo! got the freedom to enrich the user experience with results from other providers. Recently, Microsoft announced a 10-year collaboration with AOL in which Bing would power AOL’s search results and ads. It’s clear that the relationship between Yahoo! and Microsoft is changing significantly.
Until the revision, Yahoo! exclusively relied on the latter’s search engine Bing to provide search results and ads. Now, it can source as much as 49% of their search results from other providers, including Google.
Yahoo! flexing its wings
Yahoo! took advantage of that new-found freedom recently and conducted some tests using Google search ads in some of its searches. The company made it clear that only a small portion of its desktop and mobile search results would actually contain Google search ads. They fully intend to utilize different search partners and its Gemini system; moving away from exclusively relying on Bing.
Yahoo! still intends to develop its own search products. It launched Gemini over a year ago. Very recently, the company claimed that amongst all its advertisers that adopted Gemini, 36% of the mobile internet traffic was served by Yahoo! Last year, the company collaborated with Mozilla and became the default search provider for the browser. The company then went on to sign a deal with Oracle to include default Yahoo! Search settings on recent Java updates.
Google and Yahoo! history
This isn’t the first collaboration between Yahoo! and Google. In 2008, the two Internet giants signed an ad agreement but the partnership was blocked by the Department of Justice citing anti-trust concerns. The department was clear that the move would deny consumers the benefit of competition. To them, it was a better option for consumers if Google and Yahoo! competed against one another for ads, rather than joined hands.
Regardless, Google is no doubt the dominant player in the search engine landscape. Collaborating with Yahoo! would only extend the company’s reach further. There isn’t a possibility of another anti-trust suit being filed because Yahoo! made it clear that they wouldn’t work exclusively with Google. However, if they take their collaboration further and sketch out a better deal, Google might find itself under scrutiny again.
Many speculate that all the switching between search algorithms might lead to users becoming frustrated as the results would vary. For now, no one is quite sure about Yahoo!’s plans. Would they focus on building their own search product? At the moment, they seem to include ads from Bing, Yahoo, and Google.