Much has been said about the potential merging of Microsoft and Yahoo. The talk has been exceptionally heavy in the last month or so. I’ve talked about it here once or twice and probably will again. But most of the talk has been around the technology ramifications of the merger. The changes that would occur in search market share and what it would mean for Google. But what about us? What about the online entrepreneur?
We do SEO, PPC and various other things that could be affected by a merger of Microsoft and Yahoo. What changes can we expect from this merger if it were to happen? Here’s how I see it going down.
In the world of SEO, it narrows things down a bit. Instead of everybody trying to do the SEO for all three of the search engines, they only have two major ones. Of course, I’m of the camp that thinks that you follow a few tenets and don’t worry about what any one individual search engine wants, so that doesn’t change much for me.
From a PPC perspective, things will (regardless) change. Even without the merger, things are changing. Yahoo maybe in talks to test out using Google for search advertising. I’d be surprised if it didn’t happen as it would be a major blow to Microsoft and when was the last time Google passed that up. And Yahoo is unlikely to pass it up just out of spite. If, however, the merger were to go through, it would form a viable competitor to the Google advertising engine. Suddenly, choosing between the two would become a little less obvious. Some don’t choose now, but there are many that only use one of the engines.
As an Online Entrepreneur, the merger could mean several things. The most obvious is a healthy alternative to anything Google. For those that would actively rebel against The Great Googely Moogely, a merger could be very good. Another, less positive, way to think about the merger would be the elimination of choice. Instead of three engines, we would only have two. There are many that can’t stand either Google or Microsoft and actively try to use Yahoo and others whenever possible. The merger would cause there to only be two large choices. The rest would be table scraps and not push enough traffic to worry about.
In the end, I can’t say whether the merger will go through or not. Yahoo doesn’t seem to be very receptive and also seems to be getting quite a bit of help in thwarting the “attack”. Microsoft, on the other hand, doesn’t seem all that willing to give up. And let’s face it; Microsoft usually doesn’t give up. They’ve lost a couple of times, but rarely do they give up.