Yahoo! and Bing seem to be sharing organic search algorithm.
The Yahoo! Microsoft Search Alliance has been making huge strides over the past week. Last week, Yahoo! announced that they are now testing Microsoft Bing's data. Today, however, we are seeing real evidence for the first time.
As an up and coming search site, we at EZlocal like to monitor our search result success regularly. We thrive off of organic search traffic and want to do everything we can to improve that traffic. We have been well aware of how poorly our site performs in Bing and have been on top of watching our search rankings. Today, all of the sudden, we noticed some major ranking changes in Bing. In fact, we couldn't help but notice that they seemed amazingly familiar to our Yahoo! results.
"local connecticut businesses" Bing | Yahoo!
We thought maybe it was a fluke that all of the results were the same. So we tested some queries outside of local search.
How many spaces after a period? Bing | Yahoo!
Diablo 3 Bing | Yahoo!
reddit Bing | Yahoo!
According to Yahoo!, this is the beginning stages of Yahoo! and Bing combining forces and using the same search results. It seems to only affect organic search. Anything else from the universal search world seems to be unaffected including local map results, real time results, new results, etc.
Fortunately, it looks like Yahoo's data is influencing Bing's data more than Bing's data is influencing Yahoo's. Two weeks ago, EZlocal was a rare occurrence among Bing search result pages. There is further evidence of this by searching "site:ezlocal.com/ct" on Bing. Notice that the page in the example above, the Connecticut home page, does not show up. This tells me that the "site:" operator is not part of the current test, and that Bing's previous data still does not have the page http://ezlocal.com/ct in their index. Again, further adding to the theory Bing's data is now being heavily influenced by Yahoo!.
Another feature that has made its way to Bing from Yahoo! are the search suggestions. For weeks when we searched "local ohio businesses," Yahoo! would automatically include results for "local ohio business" as well. Bing now provides the same feature, see the screen capture below: