Yahoo and Microsoft have been testing Bing powered search results offline for some time now. A recent email sent out to advertisers confirmed that the testing will be moved to the live search results shortly.
During that period part of Yahoo's Live search results will be powered by Bing, "with paid search volume in particular kept low enough to help minimize any potential impact" to Yahoo advertiser accounts.
Yahoo aims for a transition in the August / September timeframe for Bing powered organic search results if the "testing continues to yield high quality results".
What does that mean for the search engine market? It means that Microsoft's Bing will increase its search volume closing the gap to Google, which is dominating search.
The total market share depends on how the data is accumulated. Google is usually listed with a market share between 65% and 85%, Bing with 3% to 10% and Yahoo between 6% and 15%. In best case, Bing will increase its search engine reach to 25% of the total market share, Barry Schwartz at the Search Engine Land website even sees Bing powering 30% of paid and organic search queries globally after the transition finishes.
What does it mean for search engine visitors? The search results will ultimately be the same on Bing and Yahoo Search. The only differences are the additional features that are offered on the two search engine websites.
It is likely that Yahoo users will continue to use Yahoo for their searches, considering that they are likely using other Yahoo features such as Yahoo Mail as well, some might switch to Bing if they do not use any Yahoo services, others might switch to Google because of search result differences.
Microsoft Bing, with the additional data provided by Yahoo Search, may be able to improve the quality of the search results which could improve the search engine's market share in the long run.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.