Matthew Whiteway, client services director at technology search firm Greenlight, is more pessimistic than optimistic about any significant shift in search engine user behaviour
The Yahoo! / MSN Search Alliance, which rolled out in the US late last year - and with mixed results, transitions in Europe imminently.
As advertisers and agencies this side of the Atlantic await its arrival, leading search marketing specialist and technology firm Greenlight, is sceptical it will finally deliver on being a serious Google competitor.
Moreover, Greenlight has uncovered shortcomings when it comes to paid search with the Alliance and what it really offers the advertiser.
The Alliance won't help close the gap or dependence on Google in the UK'', says Matthew Whiteway, client services director at Greenlight. For starters, it will still only account for around 7 per cent* of the UK search space, as a combined force.
Bing, which made the mistake of launching an expensive marketing campaign in the UK to drive searchers its way when it was still in Beta, failed to persuade the audience its offering was superior to Google's, thereby losing a valuable chance to sway users its way.
Mixed results in the US with the search alliance
In late 2009, Yahoo and Microsoft announced plans to tie their two search engines together, in an attempt to deliver a more competitive edge and provide a real alternative to Google for internet browsers.
Under the deal, Yahoo's search engine uses Microsoft's Bing powered results (both natural and sponsored). The two firms share the revenues.
The deal has largely been Microsoft driven, as it seeks to increase its share in the search engine marketing (SEM) space, which in the UK, is around 4 per cent compared to Yahoo's 3 per cent and Google's commanding 90 per cent.
Results thus far in the US have been mixed. Some advertisers are reporting increased cost per clicks (CPC's), reduced click through rates (CTR's) and fluctuating cost per acquisitions (CPA's). Others have suggested the Alliance has delivered more favourable results, including an increase in search volumes and sales.