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How the Google & Yahoo! Deal Impacts Search Advertising for Small Business

Posted on Thursday, June 19, 2008 by Jim McNamee in Online Marketing

Companies can advertise their business across the two largest search providers at the same time.

Yes, you read correctly - Yahoo! and Google shook hands, and will create a larger landscape for your online search and display advertising. The non-exclusive deal will allow Yahoo! to serve paid search and display ads supplied by Google along side their own search results, and across their publisher network. The agreement pertains to the United States and Canada for paid search and content match only (Yahoo! will still display its own search results). Yahoo! will also control the user experience by defining the ranking and placement of ads coming in from Google AdWords, Panama (Yahoo's own paid advertising platform), and other third parties.

The two global Internet companies shared the news of the announcement on June 12, 2008 in their respective press releases (view Yahoo's press release or Google's press release).

In a nutshell, the best paid search advertising technology in the world (Google) will also display your ads through the second biggest search engine (Yahoo!).

What Does This Mean for Your Small Business?

This will provide great exposure for your small business through one paid search advertising account (Google AdWords), and the traffic from both search engines will be entirely measurable through one of the best analytics tools - Google Analytics. You no longer have to worry about your customers searching Yahoo! instead of Google, and vice versa. Yahoo! offers prime real estate that will expand Google's reach, whose search market share is already at 68% (according to HitWise).

In addition, the two companies will remain competitors, which will drive more innovation that will benefit users, advertisers and publishers. It is important to note that this agreement does not prevent Yahoo! from making a similar deal with another provider.

Lastly, I believe this agreement is a positive change, and paid search advertising overall will become more efficient. Advertisers (small businesses) can spread their ads across the two largest search providers, and consumers will see more relevant ads when they search for information on the Web.

Playing Nice

  • Both Google and Yahoo! voluntarily agreed to postpone implementation, so the U.S. Department of Justice can review the arrangement (this could take 3½ months).
  • Yahoo! will most likely start serving Google's paid ads sometime in September, 2008.
  • Yahoo! and Google also agreed to enable interoperability between their respective instant messaging services, bringing easier and broader communication to users.

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