The highly publicized Yahoo-Microsoft deal doesn't matter. It's a corporate strategy, balance sheet and market share play for the participants. There's nothing in it for those of us marketing products, services or ideas online.
Here's four reasons why you can safely ignore this development, just like Wall Street did.
It won't change search traffic patterns. Google still rules. There's no reason to believe huge numbers of well-trained Googlers will switch to Bing-Yahoo. There's no technical improvement, no consumer incentive, no perceptual difference and no reason to think that we will have exposure to bigger or qualitatively different search audiences.
Google will still have a dominant share. I'm not only talking share of search. I'm talking about of advertiser and agency share of mind. The deal might motivate Google to love buyers and middlemen more but they've been on a love jihad for the last couple of years and already have a robust set of tools and a pipeline filled with new ones. Their early arrogance has been tempered with a corporate sensitivity to agencies and advertisers. We are not feeling oppressed by an ogre nor are we yearning for relief from a Ballmer in shining armor.
There's no price deals. The auction mechanism doesn't put any more money in our pockets. We have no financial incentives to change our behavior.
It will take a while to close. We're struggling day-by-day to stretch budgets and deliver more ROI faster. There is no quick impact to the deal or savory short term benefits because it will take months of regulatory scrutiny before this becomes real.