Microsoft / Yahoo Deal Increases Value of Generic Domain Names

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MicroHooThe Yahoo and Microsoft on-again off-again partnership/buyout discussions have been all over the financial and Internet news for a while, so I don’t need to chronicle those here. Yesterday afternoon, news broke that Yahoo and Microsoft were not only talking once again, but a deal was imminent. This morning it was announced that a deal between the two companies had been completed – finally.

According to Reuters, the upshot of the deal is that Microsoft’s Bing search engine will handle search duties on all Yahoo-owned websites, and Yahoo will be responsible for selling the premium search ads. This means that Bing will now be the search engine for nearly 30% of all searches, up from 8% in June according to a report from Comscore. This is big news for owners of generic domain names.

A few weeks ago, I posted an article stating that Microsoft’s Bing search engine seems to love developed generic domain names. I listed a small sample of search results for generic domain names on Google and on Bing, and they clearly ranked much better on Bing. While I was doing my small sample, noted domain investor Edwin Hayward was doing the same comparison with similar results, and the white paper he wrote shares his results.I didn’t report Yahoo’s search results, but they were somewhere between Bing and Google for the most part.

This is very good news for domain investors, because it means if a company has a generic domain name, it should rank higher for almost 30% of web searches rather than just 8%, making these domain names more desired and valuable. I won’t speculate about what will happen with PPC payouts because domain parking is a very small % of 1% of my total revenue, so I will let other experts provide commentary on that side of things.

I believe this is good news for owners of generic domain names.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Good catch.

    I just noticed that this morning. I have a city vacations .com domain and it now shows up #1 in Bing (it’s also #1 in Yahoo).

    It is a developed site but Google doesn’t like for some reason.

    Anyway, let’s see how many people continue to use Bing or will the 30% just be a temporary spike?

  2. good point! One other comment – I think it hurts anything beyond .com, .net, and .org because Yahoo was pretty favorable to alt extensions like .TV.

  3. From what i saw, yes Bing loves domains which exactly match the search query.

    I would second Todd. Search algorithms are not permanent and can be tweaked anytime. Just a point to remember.

  4. I agree with Kevin…this is great news for all legitimate domainers…the competition will lead to better and more relevant searches, and should stop specific agendas that could occur when one has the monopoly.

  5. It’s too bad IAC/Ask.com can’t get their act together to create a strong third competitor. From an SEM prospective, Ask.com and Looksmart.com convert at a significantly lower rate than Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

    One would think, with IAC’s wide reach they could “raise their game” to at least take 10% of the search market. However, the Ask.com acquisition has been little benefit to Ask.com or IAC – IMHO

  6. I agree with Todd Mintz, a small change in search engine algorithm (which they do from time to time) will throw most of generic domains out of gear. We can just hope that they don’t change their current policy to give extra weightage to generic domain names in serp for long time.

  7. If generic domains are so hot, why did the smartest mind in domains name his new auction platform bido.com rather then domainauction.com?

    It seems to be working for him too.

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