An agreement that will see Microsoft’s Bing power search on Yahoo! sites is a welcome development for advertisers "crying out" for a credible challenger to Google’s crown, according to one expert.

John Newton, head of digital marketing at ClickThrough Marketing, said that while there may be some short-term disruption as the companies "get their houses in order", the deal should eventually give both a "shot in the arm".

For advertisers using search engine optimisation, the move will increase the importance of tailoring their content to Bing – although ranking on Google will remain their top priority, as it accounts for around 90 per cent of the traffic for organic search campaigns, he added.

Pay per click marketing focused on Yahoo! and Microsoft sites should benefit from shorter set-up times thanks to the partnership, as well as increased competition and lower click costs in the wider market.

Furthermore, Mr Newton said that once the link-up between the two is complete, companies should benefit from the emergence of new ad forms that will create a "point of difference" from Google.

Microsoft and Yahoo! plan to have all customers and partners transferred to the unified search market by early 2012.

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ClickThrough is a digital marketing agency, providing search engine optimisation, pay per click management, conversion optimisation, web development and content marketing services.