Testing begins with Yahoo!

One of the most significant things our search and advertising platform teams have been working on over the past several months is the preparation and engineering for our search alliance with Yahoo!

When we announced our intention to enter into a search and advertising relationship with Yahoo! almost a year ago, we began a journey that will help us build a scale search advertising marketplace and provide a real competitive alternative for consumers, publishers and advertisers.

Beginning just a few days ago, we began some important testing across both our systems designed to verify our joint work and make sure we are ready to deliver a quality transition for customers, which we are on track to complete in the US and Canada over the next few months. Yahoo has posted an update on this milestone on their blog.

We’ve got a couple of tests going on right now to test both our ability to deliver high performance, quality algorithmic results, as well as power search advertising for both companies. We are working closely with our counterparts at Yahoo! to make sure these tests go well and we learn what we need to ensure a seamless transition. Everything we are doing together is aimed at ensuring the quality of the experience for customers through this transition and into the future.

Both Yahoo! and Microsoft have been communicating with customers and training our respective sales and support organizations so they know what they need to do to prepare for the various transition milestones, including beginning to think about migrating their campaigns to adCenter.

For webmasters, it’s important to be familiar with how the Bing crawler interacts with your site. After the full algorithmic transition is complete, you only need to optimize for one crawler (Bing), as we will provide Yahoo! with results from our index.

During this testing phase, it’s important to look at how your site is showing up in search results on Yahoo! and Bing today, so you can assess if there are any tweaks you need to make or feedback you need to share with the team to make sure your site is accurately represented in Bing’s results.

In particular, now is a good time for you to review your crawl policies in your robots.txt and ensure that you have identical polices for the msnbot/Bingbot and Yahoo’s bots. Just to note, you should not see an increase in bingbot traffic as a result of the transition.

Remember to check out the Bing Webmaster Center for all the latest info, tips and tools, including some significant updates to Bing’s webmaster tools we are rolling out today.

Thanks for all your help as we enter this exciting time in our search alliance with Yahoo!, we’ll share more detail as we continue to progress through the transition.

Satya Nadella, Senior Vice President, Online Services Division

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