As Yahoo and Bing progress on the Search Alliance, Yahoo said it is live testing results of Microsoft organic and paid search on its platform this month. In its update, Yahoo also gave a few other prospective dates and steps. Read on.
Yahoo said the testing volumes this month will fluctuate although those for paid search "in particular [will be] kept low enough to help minimize any potential impact to your account." Full transition is still slated for the third quarter but Yahoo indicated that the two involved companies may elect to delay it until next year, should they "conclude that it would improve the overall experience."
Step 1: Bing To Power Organic Searches
The now mainly content provider called on advertisers to compare organic search results on both its site and Bing so as to identify how to modify - or not - campaigns accordingly. The transition process will start with Bing taking over organic search in August-September, as clickZ's Jack Marshall reported. Also suggesting that marketers should look to optimize their sites for the transition to Bing's crawler, Yahoo released a FAQ for those concerned.
Bing Crawler To Launch October 1st
A friendly PR representative at Waggener Edstrom told us that Bing's crawler "will come out of beta on October 1st" and will be rebranded as the 'bingbot,' replacing the existing msnbot. However, it "will still honor robots.txt directives written for msnbot," meaning that no change is required to robots.txt file(s). According to the company, "improvements to the bot enable more efficient crawling, and increase the ability to crawl content on sites not optimized for search."
New Editorial Guidelines
Also as part of the transition, Yahoo and Microsoft also have adopted joint editorial guidelines, effective early next month for paid search advertisers. Yahoo said guidelines for gambling and contests as well as disallowed content were the most affected.
Yahoo will host a call later today on the subject. We'll keep you posted on the news.