Google dominates search engine marketing with a 90% market share, while Microsoft and Yahoo account for just 4% and 3% respectively. The alliance combines Yahoo’s search engine with Microsoft’s Bing powered results, a combination say the Alliance that will produce better quality of searches and therefore an increase in traffic volumes and sales for its customers.
However things have not gone according to plan.
A spokesperson for SEO Services company Sacha Mango Media, said: "Bing’s original launch in the UK was a failure. At the time it was only at the beta stage of development and wasn’t a superior product compared to Google, so it didn’t perform as hoped and that damaged its reputation. Microsoft has now ironed out the problems with Bing, but it could be too late to convince users to give it another chance."
In the US the reactions are mixed, with some claiming increases in traffic and sales, while others claim the cost of customer acquisition, click through rates and cost per click has increased. However the Alliance holds a 30% share of the search space in the US compared to the 7% it will hold in the UK, so the effects on the web advertisers may be far less.
"One big fly in the Alliance’s ointment is that a web advertiser cannot optimise to a specific platform, so ads will be displayed under the same preference setting on both Bing and Yahoo," said the spokesperson. "Different platforms operate slightly differently – just because the two platforms have been joined it doesn’t mean the ads will be displayed in an identical place on both though, and everyone knows that ad position can affect a campaign’s success in the world of online marketing. There will be no opportunity to tweak an ad’s position and optimise its performance.
"When separate, Bing and Yahoo can be optimised. Together through the Alliance’s offering they cannot be and that is a big obstacle, even though there will be time-savings by not having to repeat the experimentation on two platforms separately. Advertisers will have to test whether spending the extra time saved is at the expense of more sales than they’re willing to give up."
It seems that may already be happening. Some advertisers have noticed consistent discrepancies in the search results of Bing and Yahoo throughout January, including low search returns and irrelevant results, compared to Google. While the most likely suspect for this is algorithm changes, none have been announced leaving both advertisers and users frustrated and turning to other platforms.
"In anticipation of the European roll-out, Microsoft and Yahoo need to getting their algorithm ducks lined up and it’s likely that the discrepancies that are being seen are due to them doing that. The trouble is when this kind of issue with irrelevancy continues for any length of time, people start to talk about it and then complain about it, which does nothing to bolster the confidence of users or reputation of the Alliance’s platform," concluded the spokesperson.
SachaMango Media are one of the UK’s leading providers of SEO Services. With a host of top 10 Google results, SachMango have gone from strength to strength in the world of online marketing. Their results speak for themselves…
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