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I have been following the Yahoo-Bing transition since its inception giving those who own an SEO services company and individual marketers the heads up on developments as they happen. Last week saw the completion of Yahoo’s organic transition becoming fully powered by Microsoft Bing. This week Yahoo has given search marketing advertisers the green light to start the transition process from Yahoo Search ads to Microsoft Bing search ads. This announcement marks the first step of the paid search transition.

yahoo bingIt is anticipated that Yahoo paid search in the US and Canada will be fully powered by Microsoft adCenter come the end of October. In the interim Yahoo are advising advertisers to prepare. We encourage you to transition your account before the ad serving transition begins, so that you are ready to reach more than 159 million searchers in the U.S. and 15 million searchers in Canada* on Yahoo! Search, Bing and our partners”.

For those concerned about making the account transition more information is available at both the Yahoo Advertising Blog and the Microsoft Blog. Basically you need to prepare your account, transfer your account and then continue managing your account as usual. For an SEO services company like mine this will create some extra work on behalf of my clients, but let’s hope it isn’t too painful.

A couple of weeks ago I spoke about the benefits of the new Yahoo Answers search facility as an internet marketing solution. YA search allows you to search via keywords related to your industry and get a daily notification email so you can be reactive. Yahoo Answers announced it had reached 200m users in 2009, and they probably thought they had the whole Q&A thing locked down, that was until Facebook unravelled their latest plans.

With 500m people already using Facebook, the new Facebook Questions facility could make Yahoo Answers look a little shy on followers. Then again, as internet marketing companies know all too well, quality beats quantity every time. It’s all good having 500m potential users, but just how many of those users will ditch a game of Poker or Farmville or even an IM to ask a question on Facebook?

When Facebook Questions is rolled out to users the question facility will be on the wall page as follows:

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As you can see, “your question will be visible to everyone”. This is a smart tactic to ensure people know the facility is there and that others are using it. Facebook automatically tags the question using words from your post. Your question is then freely available for the community to answer

Once the question has been posted you have three options that only show up after the initial question has been posted:

  • Add description
  • Add photo
  • Add poll options

This adds another internet marketing solution to the armoury of SEO soldiers. This facility will work nicely as a freebie alongside Facebook PPC. No doubt internet marketing companies will be focussing heavily on this feature over the coming months to monitor its performance against Yahoo Answers.

Obviously the social aspect of Facebook is where it has a distinct advantage over rivals. Okay, Yahoo does have a friends’ network but the familiar “x has just answered a question”, or, “x has just asked a question”, will promote interaction amongst friends and drive the popularity of the Facebook Questions facility.

The question herein lies, do we as the consumer want a one size fits all website, or do we like having different pockets for different activities. Personally I feel the latter suits my personality. Facebook for global friendship updates, questions at Yahoo, analytics at Google and videos at YouTube. What do you think?

It really is about time. Yahoo Answers always had the potential to be very useful as a web site promotion service if the internal search facility was more efficient. Yahoo Answers is the most popular Q&A on the web and it certainly is very useful if you want an answer. But if you are looking to search out topics and create some decent back-links for your web marketing strategy it has always been long-winded.

Well the good news is that some major changes have been made. You can now conduct search by relevance and time. This enables the user to keep a date log of Q&A previously searched. There is also an option to search by number of answers. These options were available previously when browsing categories but not when searching the search results pages.

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On the left sided menu there are several new search options. There are also additional filtering options for ‘number of answers’ and ‘date submitted’ menu dropdowns. See the diagram below:

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You can even save your searches and have a daily email delivered with new questions that match your search (see the diagram below). This is great for monitoring topics surround your business and keeping your finder on the button to answer them immediately. You can also monitor particular keywords. For more information on these changes you can read the Yahoo Answers blog post . This will serve as a neat web site promotion service for marketers and business owners alike, and of course for what the facility is meant to be; a general knowledge resource base.

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Yahoo Answers is no longer an effort to maintain as part of your web site promotion strategy. Now the facility is set up to contact you when you should be responding, rather than spending hours trawling through endless posts to little avail.

With a disappointing second quarter her cards were already numbered, so today’s sacking via a telephone call won’t have come as much of a surprise to the now ex-Yahoo CEO, who will forever be remembered as the woman who ended Yahoo’s love affair with search. And for me this is the real story here.

With all Yahoo search, except display, now powered by Microsoft, what does Yahoo really represent and where are they going from here? This past week saw the launch of their new mail system, but is even that too little too late. Users have left in their droves in recent years as Yahoo mail bug reports continue to overflow, not to mention suffering heavily at the hands of Googlemail and its all encompassing facility. Even the Yahoo Site Explorer tool is set to be cut down this month, adding another self-inflicted wound to a tough few years. Read more

When monthly figures get released and Google’s search share has dropped it always seems alarming at first. Every search engine specialist in the world scrambles to see the graphs and analyse the figures. Changes in search share can affect the way an internet advertising agency maps out its strategy. At first the month of June seemed like cause for concern. But don’t be fooled by statistics because they are often misleading, as we can see below.

According to comscore.com figures for June 2010, both Yahoo and Bing have Read more

Today is an officially exciting day for SEO workers worldwide, because as of today organic Yahoo! search results are powered by Bing, signalling a landmark moment for search and meaning an interesting challenge could potentially be mounted on Google in months/years to come. Paid Yahoo ads are still powered by Yahoo but the entire organic search has Read more

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