Today's announcement of a deal between Microsoft and Yahoo for a 10-year Internet-search partnership has the potential to disrupt the search marketing and advertising landscape.
At minimum, it will keep search pundits and commentators gainfully occupied for days.
According to the Wall Street Journal, under the new deal Yahoo is to make Microsoft's Bing search engine the search provider on its Web sites. Yahoo will in turn handle sales of search ads for both companies, using Microsoft's search-advertising technology.
Me, I just want to hire whomever negotiated the payment terms for my next employment contract.
According to the WSJ, the revenue-sharing agreement has Microsoft paying 88% of the search revenue generated from its sites during the first five years of the agreement.
The search share imbalance overnight goes from about 65% Google, Yahoo 19-20%, and Microsoft 8.4% (June Comscore numbers), to, I suspect, 28-29% MicroHoo.
Of course, advertisers who have been spending a larger chunk of their advertising dollars with Google suddenly have a much more attractive option with the YaBing deal -- 28% share brings YaBing some scale, and even in search, scale is key.
Most importantly, this venture brings some needed competition to the market.
Having emerged from the ashes of the OS2/Windows wars of the early 1990s, I'm the last person you'd ever find cheering on Microsoft.
But as with we've seen with monopolistic entities in the past, too much market power tends to hinder product innovation and efficiencies.
Healthy competition from a strong counterbalancing partnership like this one will be good for the market, good for advertisers, and yes, even good for Google.Read More]