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Yahoo! begins ad handover to Microsoft

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The Bingification of Yahoo! took another step forward Tuesday, when the transition of advertisers' search-based campaigns from Yahoo! Search Marketing to Microsoft adCenter got underway.

"A combined Bing and Yahoo! will provide advertisers with a competitive alternative in search advertising, enabling advertisers to reach more than 159 million searchers in the US and 15 million in Canada on Yahoo! Search, Bing and our partners with one ad buy," wrote David Pann, general manager of the Microsoft Advertising Search Network, in a post here.

According to Pann, Bing and Yahoo! together reach 31.6 per cent of the US searching public.

The announcement of the beginning of the search-ad switcheroo comes one week after Yahoo! completed the transition of its in-house search to Microsoft's in the US and Canada — Yahoo!'s search-result pages are now festooned with a Powered by Bing™ tag.

Until the transition is complete, advertisers will need to manage both their Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter accounts, but when the transition ends, ad management will be all adCenter, all the time.

The transition will take two months if all goes according to plan — and if there are hiccups, it may take longer.

Pann, though, took pains to assure advertisers that the all-important holiday shopping frenzy won't be interrupted. "While we expect the paid search transition to be complete by the end of October, and we are on track to reach that goal," he wrote, "we still may consider holding off on the full integration of paid search until 2011 if we feel that the transition will in any way impact the holiday season."

The Reg predicts that there will be a goodly amount of finger-crossing among advertisers and Bing and Yahoo! engineers during the next eight-plus weeks. ®

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