So it’s finally happened, though not quite in the way some were predicting, the new collaboration of Microsoft and Yahoo could change the face of search and online advertising; or it could be a damp squib which will have no effect on Google’s dominance at all.
What might well happen though is that it may change the way some SEOs approach their craft. The reason for this is that with Bing providing the search results, albeit packaged in whatever way Yahoo decides, we may no longer have access to the Yahoo backlink data. Bing, like its Live Search predecessor, doesn’t have a link command that works, while not only has Google’s link command been useless for years but the recent changes to Webmaster Tools have resulted in far fewer link results there too.
The vast majority of link analysis tools also make use of the Yahoo data, and without that data most of the SEOs that base their strategies predominently on links will have very little to go on. So they’ll either have to fly blind or change their strategies to a more rounded approach. Their only alternative would be to subscribe to the SEOMoz Linkscape data.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens, particularly in the US where my impression is that they tend to concentrate more on the link-building approach than we do in the UK. Of course it may make Rand Fishkin a very rich man! But it might also produce a change in what I personally regard as an overly link-biased way of approaching search engine optimisation. And that might mean that there’s less of a battle between SEOs and Google, who are constantly trying to discount the latest tricks for getting more links.