Bing and Yahoo are now preparing to integrate their search ad functionality in several European countries. Starting in Q2 of 2012, Yahoo advertisers in the UK, Ireland, and France will turn to the Microsoft adCenter.
Yahoo and Microsoft announced that "The European roll out is scheduled to begin with the UK, Ireland and France in the second quarter of 2012." However, many European advertisers will be able to use Microsoft adCenter for Yahoo advertising much earlier; Microsoft indicated that most European partners would be able to make the transition in early 2012.
The transition of the search ads is part of the search engine partnership between Yahoo and Microsoft (known as the Search Alliance). That partnership has handed Bing the search back-end and organic search results for almost every region where Yahoo does business. The two companies have been splitting the cost of the transition, and Bing receives 12 percent of the revenue from searches it powers.
As Microsoft and Yahoo continue to combine forces, both companies will see greater benefit; as Bing powers more searches, Microsoft will get more of Yahoo's revenue, and Yahoo will be able to shut down additional divisions. Simultaneously, the cost of transition – a notably top-heavy spending process – will be lifted from both technology companies. Yahoo will cut costs even further with the transition of search ads, which enables Yahoo to close that sector of their existing business.
Perhaps most importantly, though, Yahoo and Microsoft will offer greater appeal to advertisers. Currently, Bing-Yahoo serve about 30 percent of U.S. searches but less than 10 percent of European searches. While often negligible on their own in the European market, the ability to advertise on both engines simultaneously will offer substantially more incentive to European advertisers.