Blog Post

Bing and Yahoo may be the same, but their traffic is not


So the big news a while back was that the search results for Bing and Yahoo are now the same. In other words, the two search engines are really no more. While there are still two websites, the results would now be derived from the same database... Interesting. Everybody knows that Google has the lion's share of search traffic, approaching monopolistic proportions in my book. So this joint venture made sense. The number 2 and number 3 guys teaming up to take on the market leader.

But what was this going to mean to SEOs? We got questions repeatedly from our SEO reseller team asking what this would mean for our search engine optimization strategies? And honestly, I was not entirely sure. I mean, there was certainly less ranking data to chase (2 search engines rather than 3). But what real impact would this have?

Well, here is some interesting data for you today that may help your thinking on this question. Specifically, what I have below is traffic on a keyword that is in position 3 on page 1 in both Bing and Yahoo. What I think is interesting is the divergence of the numbers.

While I have a page 1 ranking in both engines (and position 6 in Google), the traffic patterns heavily favor Yahoo. And not by a small amount. The amount of unique visitors from Yahoo is much higher.

While I'm not entirely sure what this means, I think that it is safe to say that we still have three search engines rather than 2, from a traffic perspective. While the SEO may be tempted to think of it as two, and that would be true from a rankings perspective, this data shows that rankings don't always equal traffic.