In news which could rock the world of SEO, it seems that Google is once again considering the idea of creating a combined search service, which couples its own tools with those of current rival, Yahoo!
This rumour resurfaced after Google’s Eric Schmidt implied that a partnership might be possible while speaking at a conference held in Japan.
It has been four years since the last potential unification of Google and Yahoo was mooted, although the plans never came to fruition, as the former backed out of the deal.
Google’s reason for abandoning the idea of creating a conjoined search engine with Yahoo was that it did not want to come up against sanctions from the US government, over the perception that this deal might create a monopoly in the market.
Of course, those involved with SEO will know that Yahoo has since taken advantage of a fresh partnership with Microsoft, to use its rival Bing service for searches, which is something which should really preclude a subsequent deal with Google.
However, Forbes reports that Mr Schmidt did indeed suggest that he saw some merit in uniting Google and Yahoo in some kind of partnership in the future.
Mr Schmidt has been open to this idea for many years, although it is clear that in the past, the market conditions have not been ideal.
Yahoo’s new chief exec is an ex Google executive, so there are stronger links between the two companies than ever before.
From the point of view of those working on site optimisation to attain improved organic search rank, such shifts in the market could well be favourable.
At the moment, it is necessary to account for a multitude of different algorithmic approaches to ranking that are taken by Google, Bing and other major search services.
Yahoo is one of the world’s most popular websites and so millions of people use its search tools on a daily basis to find the information they need. But because Google holds sway over the majority of queries, it is necessary for site owners to somewhat divide their resources and invest more money on SEO that deals with both engines.
This would all change if Google and Yahoo became partners in search at some point further down the line, since optimisation efforts would be able to target both simultaneously, rather than having to be adapted to two distinct approaches.
Of course, the statements of Google’s chairman do not necessarily reflect the direction of the company as a whole and there are some clear obstacles to the partnership in place today, which were not in place four years ago.
Since SEO techniques tend to focus on Google above all of its rivals, it would definitely be convenient for its algorithmic approach to permeate more of the market. But of course, site owners should not rely on such a situation ever coming to pass and will need to optimally allocate their resources, based on the current situations they face.