Beginning January 1st, 2016, AOL will begin serving Bing Search results to all AOL search queries, ending AOL’s previous partnership with Google.
What It Means For Search
Although AOL only accounts for 1.2% of online search queries, the partnership demonstrates Bing’s quest to chip away at Google’s 65% market share. With the addition of AOL, Bing is now serving ads to 21% of search queries.
Google may not lose any sleep over the loss of AOL, however, it is their second search loss in the last 12 months after Mozilla Firefox changed their default search engine to Yahoo! late last year. Furthermore, Google’s contract with Apple expires at the end of this year, and if Bing can continue their momentum by winning the Apple search contract, it could have larger implications.
Resolution Media does not recommend a change in strategy between Google and Bing yet. Advertisers should closely monitor the search landscape over the coming months as Bing continues to focus on gaining ground on Google’s market share.
The partnership between AOL and Bing will not change Bing’s status as the dominant number 2 search engine behind Google. The partnership does signify a growing interest in the search landscape as Microsoft moves to make Bing a standalone, revenue generating product. Combined with Yahoo! taking over their own search operations and rumors swirling around Apple’s expiring contract with Google, the market for search could experience rapid change in the coming months.