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I got an email from Microsoft adCenter promoting the new alliance between Yahoo and Microsoft.  They’re calling it “Search Alliance“.  The aim is to have their online paid advertising fully unified before the 2010 holiday season, although they did say that they’ll wait until 2011 if they “determine this will be more effective”.

Microsoft bought out Yahoo, so now the primary tool behind both search engines will be Bing, and behind the pay per click (and other paid online advertisements) will be adCenter.  The Search Alliance has stated that each company will “continue to have differentiated consumer search experiences”.  Not sure exactly how they’ll pull that off with the same search engine for both, but they may just mean the search interface.

The support will be broken apart, Yahoo supporting the bigger advertisers, and Microsoft will provide support to “self-service” advertisers.  They are combining their platforms for the advertising audience, so ads put together under this new alliance will reach consumers using either search engine.  The Search Alliance brags that advertisers of all sizes will now be able to have access to a combined audience of nearly 577 million worldwide searchers.

At any rate, this is pretty big news – Yahoo and MS pulling together to battle the mighty Google.  I expect this may be an epic battle.

Usually in the SEO world, Google comes first.  However, as Microsoft adjusts its approach, it seems that Bing is starting to get more ground.  So how is Bing different than Google when it comes to SEO?

Michael Carden-Edwards from Coast Digital explained it well: Bing needs a lot of the same things Google does, but just focuses on some key elements more heavily.  The primary areas that Bing checks are the following:

  1. Domain age – Bing likes well-established sites, it shows that there’s some experience behind the site.
  2. Quality links, both inbound and outbound – This is one area that differs from where most SEOs focus on, by looking at quality of outbound links as well as incoming links.
  3. Substantial content on each page – At least 300 words for any page that you want ranked on Bing.  It appears Microsoft is going to reduce ranking for shell pages that don’t offer much information.
  4. Title tags – This is the one major element that fits for all SEO, and stays the same with Bing.  Keep them relevant and with your keywords, it will help.

Even though Google is still king, Bing is starting to become a bigger source of traffic than before, and it’s worth knowing how to rank in their listings to keep traffic up.

I’ve talked about how much it bugs me that so many people still think the keywords meta tag is the “secret trick” for SEO.  Well, back in October I put together a video demonstrating a test I did on this tag.  I tested Ask.com, Bing, Yahoo, and Google.  Does it work?  Is it really the secret to SEO?  You can see the results of how this turned out below.

It appears Yahoo’s performance is declining, and their deal with Microsoft (Bing is going to become the Yahoo master of services) is impending.  So they’re taking their “Hot Jobs” section – and selling it to the highest bidder.

They apparently need some extra money (not a strange thing to hear in these economic times).  I don’t blame them, since they expect between $350 million and $500 million.  The money they need as Google (and apparently Bing) are pushing their lowering search numbers.

For other details, check out Brafton’s story on this.