More than a year after their search deal was first announced, Microsoft’s Bing is now officially powering Yahoo’s search results in the U.S. and Canada, Yahoo and Microsoft said on Tuesday.
That means that combined, Microsoft Inc. now owns 28.1% of the search market (as of July 2010’s comScore numbers), though that’s still less than half of Google’s 65.8% share.
The announcement marks one of the first major milestones since the two companies signed a 10-year deal for Microsoft to power Yahoo search and for Yahoo to use Microsoft’s AdCenter advertising platform.
Authorities in the US and Europe approved the deal in February, and the companies have said they expect to take about two years to fully implement the agreement.
So far, Bing is only powering results in English in the US and Canada, with other languages to follow “in the weeks and months to come,” wrote Satya Nadella, senior vice president of Microsoft’s Online Services Division, in a blog post.
“This is a great milestone for Bing and Yahoo and our customers, and we are happy to report the transition has gone smoothly and we feel great about the progress our search alliance has been making over the summer,” he wrote.
The companies are still working on Yahoo’s transition to using AdCenter, Microsoft’s self-serve search ad platform. “As we have said all along, our primary goal is to provide advertisers with a quality transition experience in 2010, while being mindful of the holiday season,” Nadella wrote.
Last week, Yahoo said it would begin transitioning to Bing on the back end for search, noting that search results pages would display the line “Powered by Bing” at the bottom for searches using Microsoft’s results.
In July 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo announced a 10-year search deal under which Microsoft will power Yahoo’s search site while Yahoo will manage the sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers.
Microsoft and Yahoo started to test the Bing-powered Yahoo in late July, and that is now live.
Going forward, Nadella said Microsoft will “continue to work hard on the migration to adCenter,” a move Microsoft is “optimistic” about completing later this fall. “As we have said all along, our primary goal is to provide advertisers with a quality transition experience in 2010, while being mindful of the holiday season,” he wrote.
During its second quarter earnings call, Yahoo chief executive Carol Bartz said she expects the company to be using AdCenter in October, but she stressed that the company wouldn’t be rushed.
“It’s very important that our advertisers are ready, that AdCenter is ready, and we’re not going to pull the trigger until we’re sure of it,” she said at the time.