Microsoft Corp and Yahoo Inc Search Alliance: On 29 July, 2009, Microsoft Corp and Yahoo Inc sealed a 10-year Web search deal to better compete against market leader Google Inc. The long-expected deal means Microsoft’s new Bing search engine will be combined with Yahoo’s experience attracting advertisers in the first serious threat to Google Inc — if the companies get regulatory approval and can make the partnership work.
Here’s how the Yahoo-Microsoft deal will work out:
* Microsoft will guarantee the revenue per search for Yahoo’s owned and operated sites in each country for the first 18 months after initial implementation in that country.
* Yahoo expects the agreement to boost annual GAAP operating income by about $500 million within two years and help capital expenditure savings by about $200 million. Yahoo also expects the partnership to add about $275 million to annual operating cash flow.
* Microsoft will pay Yahoo through a revenue-sharing agreement on traffic generated on Yahoo’s network of both owned and operated and affiliate sites.
* Microsoft will pay traffic acquisition costs to Yahoo at an initial rate of 88 percent of search revenue generated on Yahoo’s owned and operated sites for the first five years.
* Yahoo will act as the global sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers.
* Microsoft’s AdCenter platform will fulfill self-serve advertising for both companies.
* AdCenter’s automated auction process will set prices for all search ads.
* Each company will keep its own separate display advertising business and sales force.
* Under a 10-year license, Microsoft will be able to integrate Yahoo’s core search technologies into its current Web search platforms.
* Microsoft’s Bing will be the exclusive algorithmic search and paid search platform for Yahoo sites. Yahoo will continue to use its technology and data in other areas of its business, including display advertising technology.
* Yahoo will innovate and “own” the user experience on its own properties, including the user experience for search, even though it will be powered by Microsoft technology.
* The agreement restricts the use of search data shared between the companies. To protect consumer privacy, it will limit the data shared between the companies to the minimum necessary to operate and improve the combined search platform.
* Yahoo! will continue to syndicate its current search affiliate partnerships.
* The companies will continue to compete in other areas as the agreement does not cover each company’s Web properties and products, email, instant messaging or display advertising.
Job cuts at Yahoo
Carol Bartz, CEO, Yahoo, said the deal will result in “redundancies” in Yahoo’s staff, although she declined to be specific.
She stressed any changes would not occur until after full implementation of the partnership.
Also, many Yahoo search engineers will be asked to take jobs at Microsoft, whose Redmond, Washington headquarters is far removed from Yahoo’s California homebase.
“There are risks on both sides. Big deals like this tend not to work out. It’s a long-term deal that’s going to take a long time to implement,” said Ryan Jacob, chief investment officer of Jacob Asset Management, the $40 million fund holds some Yahoo shares. “It’s better than no deal.”
And unlike previous discussions which involved an outright acquisition of Yahoo by Microsoft, this deal will create a number of uncertainties for both companies as they fuse disparate technologies, cultures and business priorities. Yankee analyst Carl Howe said integrating two separate search engines is an inherently thorny process that requires merging vast and often incompatible indices of Web data.
Microsoft and Yahoo still face antitrust and privacy issues. Google dropped a planned search partnership with Yahoo last year under pressure from the US Justice Department. The partnership poses only a theoretical challenge to Google at present. It could take two-and-a-half years to get approval and be fully implemented, according to Yahoo CEO Bartz, which would mean the partnership would not be fully effective until early 2012.
Source: Times of india
Search Alliance Testing:
In mid-July, we began testing the delivery of organic results from Bing to Yahoo! Search, which may gradually increase to up to 25% of Yahoo! Search traffic. We also began testing the delivery of paid search results from Microsoft Advertising adCenter to Yahoo! Search, which began with a small percentage of traffic and may increase to include up to 2.5% to 3.5% of live Yahoo! Search traffic in the U.S. Please note that testing volumes will fluctuate during this period. Since the traffic percentages are small, advertisers should not draw any conclusions from what they observe during these tests, as the results may not be indicative of the future marketplace with full Yahoo! volume.
Recent announcement by Yahoo! for Search alliance (Aug/2010):
Microsoft-Yahoo! Search Alliance continues to progress, and in a post on the Yahoo! Search Marketing blog, it looks like the organic part of transitioning is on the verge of completion. Here are few updates:
adCenter account creation
Yahoo advertisers will soon either have to create a new adCenter account or link their Yahoo account to an existing adCenter account. Later this month, Yahoo advertisers will see an “adCenter” tab in their Yahoo Search Marketing account. This will take advertisers to the beginning of the account transition process where they’ll be walked through the steps.
Once the adcenter account is setup then one can manage both accounts from single panel and budget will be distributes amoung pre-existing Yahoo! search marketing account and adcenter so one has to plan budget wisely.
You need to download Silverlight for Microsoft adcenter.
Organic search transition between Yahoo! and Bing
Yahoo! and Microsoft are working very closely for succesfuly transition of organic and paid search alliance. Organic search alliance will be in place by last week of August. Yahoo! will email a confirmation to advertisers once the adCenter tab becomes available and the organic search transition is complete.
New editorial guidelines to take effect in August
There have been numerous questions from advertisers and everyone would like to understand what is going to happen. To put an end to all these discussion, Yahoo! and Microsoft have created joint editorial guidelines that will begin taking effect for both Yahoo! and Microsoft paid search advertisers in August. Please visit, http://advertising.yahoo.com/transition/en_US/editorial_guidelines for further information
Google has officially announced that Local Business Center is becoming Google Place. Earlier, it was launched in Sep/2009 in more than 50 million places but today is complete launch throughout. Google places will allow and extend flexibility to manage listing more diligently. Google is making continuous efforts so that better and better service can be provided to users.
New features that has been added to “Google Places” kitty:
1. Service areas – You can share your geo information even if you don’t have any physical office or store.
2. Paid listing: Very reasonably $25 per month. Listing will be displayed as tags and as of now this service is available in Austin, Atlanta, Washington, D.C, Houston and San Jose, CA. If enhanced local listing is not available in your city then you should fill in form to get notification as and when it will be launched (https://services.google.com/fb/forms/locallistingadscontact/)
3. Business photo shoots: It is awesome feature; you can apply today for a Google photo shoot of your business. Business photo shoots is currently available in selected cities of US, Australia and Japan. Visit: http://maps.google.com/help/maps/businessphotos/faq.html#q3 for more information.
4. QR codes: Google also added “QR code,” which you can have printed on business cards or anywhere else. The code enables those with QR readers in their phones or other devices to go directly to your website. It will be unique to every business.
5. Real time updates: It is really cool feature which is already doing well. Sometimes, businessmen want to promote any sale or want to post a time sensitive coupon and you want that your customer can come to know right away then “Real time updates” is going to provide you good help as this feature lets you communicate that directly to your customers in real time.
Google revamped “Image Search” on 20th June/2010. When I did some search on new interface, it reminds me about Bing image search. It is very much similar to that. Google’s new layout is replication of Bing’s image layout which allows users to view 1000 photos on one page, without having to click through multiple pages like a user had to do in past. You are having various options to refine search, like Size, Type, color, etc.
Google Images was launched in 2001 and they had a long journey. June 20th changes are the major revamp in Google Image Search. Now, Google has indexed more than 10 billion images and the traffic to Google image product is awesome, it’s 1 BILLION Page views a day, YES “1 BILLION Page views day”.
Google has also added a new revenue generating model, “Google Image Search Ads”. Google Image Search Ads allows anyone to advertise alongside Google Image searches in a more visual way. The ads will appear along the top of image search. It will contain both text and an image.
Let me re-summarize changes in Google Image Search:
• You can view 1000 images on a single page
• Images will be loaded dynamically which will not make search page much heavy
• You need not to click each image, simply take mouse over shows the meta information of that image and when you click on the image the it will open up in a new window and it shows the source page of image on back
• Google introduces new “Image Search Ad product”
Honestly speaking, I like Bing image search although I am fan of Google but as of now Bing Image Search is better than Google Image search. At the same time, I am pretty sure Google will make it happen and Google image search will be much better than Bing image search.
Google has taken one step ahead to help the webmasters and they have introduced “SiteNotice” feature.
When GoogleBot cannot reach a number of pages on your web site then Google will send “SiteNotices” for a “significant increase” in unreachable content. It will help webmasters to improve the online visibility of their website because if Googlebot is unable to crawl the index then chance of getting keywords ranking and eventually traffic will be lost.
On 21st July/2010, Microsoft launched a revamp of their Bing Webmaster To.
Here is a snippet from Bing Webmaster Tools announcement explaining what’s included in the brand new version:
The redesigned Bing Webmaster Tools provide you a simplified, more intuitive experience focused on three key areas: crawl, index and traffic. Brand new features, such as Index Explorer and Submit URLs, provide a more comprehensive view as well as better control over how Bing crawls and indexes your sites. Index Explorer gives you unprecedented access to browse through the Bing index in order to verify which of your directories and pages have been included. Submit URLs gives you the capability to signal which URLs Bing should add to the index. Other brand new features include: Crawl Issues to view details on redirects, malware, and exclusions encountered while crawling sites; and Block URLs to prevent specific URLs from appearing in Bing search engine results pages. In addition, the brand new tools take advantage of Microsoft Silverlight 4 to deliver rich charting functionality that’ll help you rapidly examine up to six months of crawling, indexing, and traffic data. That means more transparency and more control to help you make decisions, which optimize your sites for Bing.
Features of Bing Webmaster Tool:
It shows traffic data of last 6 months. It shows impressions, clicks, Query and CTR.
Microsoft provides upto six months of data but the worst part is that you can just view the data screen and you just can’t download it. The data is there but you can’t do any effective analysis out of it.
It allows you to explore web site in directory and pages in Bing index.
The Index Explorer enables you to view the specific directory and pages of your site that are indexed in Bing. Again it can be useful to drill in to this data, but it would be significantly more useful if it were downloadable. When you click on a URL, you see a pop up with controls to block the cache, block the URL and cache, and recrawl the URL.
This feature allows you to submit 10 urls in a day and 50 urls in a month. Although, you have submitted XML sitemap while will list out all the urls of a web site you want to get indexed but this feature further supplements a webmaster to get quick attention of Bot to index more fastly.
It allows you block any urls from Bing indexing. You can “block url and cache” and only “Block
Cache” and thirdly you can further get a url unblock as well. It reminds me about “Google’s removal URL feature”
Overall Microsoft did a good job but still there is a lot of scope of improvement like
· There should be back links report
· Robots.txt validator should be introduced
· There should not be any requirement for Silverlight because it is working well with IE but not with Chrome. It is seriously frustrating.
· It should allow exporting data so that a webmaster can review, analyze and further fine tune their strategy
Email marketing is a powerful web promotional tool that helps in increasing the magnitude of your business by online publicity of your products and services. A professionally designed email marketing campaign helps to create a business identity for the organization and build strong business relationships with customers. An efficient email marketing campaign will help to increase sales and total rate of turnover by boosting the business. It is one of the most affordable medium of advertising that will allow you to reach out to volumes of potential customers within no time. To run a successful email marketing campaign, it is very essential to follow an effective email marketing strategy.
Email Marketing Strategy for Successful Campaigning
- Devise a Comprehensive Email Marketing Plan: The first step of email marketing strategy is to create an effective marketing plan with underlined goals. Develop a plan that clearly reveals significant improvement in ROI by focusing on the newsletter deliverability.
- Targeted Customers: The important aspect in designing successful campaign lies in sending email newsletter to potential customers. You can build email lists with the help of email extractor software which will help you to generate targeted email list from the email servers, websites and search engines. It also gives you the option to select email ids based upon certain category or keywords.
- Bulk Email: As your business promotion is based upon the number of email sent, it becomes important to send bulk email to millions of customers around the globe. To send bulk emails, you can use different email marketing sender softwares which allow you to send bulk emails to large number of recipients in very less time. [Make sure you are sending emails to your target customers]
- Content and Designing of Email: The email should have well written, grammatically correct and informative content for drawing the attention of the end user. You should also provide some extra information with attractive colorful background and stylish fonts. It is very important to send monthly or bimonthly emails to the customers for regular updates.
- Analyze Your Campaign: At the end of every campaign, it is important to analyze your email marketing campaign by calculating the conversion rates, revenues, desired results achieved to evaluate the profits generated by sending emails.