Yahoo renews search revenue agreement with Microsoft for now, but the search engine hierarchy might shift with future developments.

Most marketers design their content marketing plans and SEO strategies with Google’s search crawlers in mind. This is a safe bet, considering that Google grabbed 67.1 percent of total search share in comScore’s March 2013 Search Engine Rankings, and that it’s rumored other top search sites might someday use its technology as well.

With Google as the search behemoth, other top sites like Bing and Yahoo have significantly smaller pieces of the pie. As of March, they only managed to nab 16.9 percent and 11.8 percent of queries, respectively. Yahoo’s new CEO Melissa Mayer isn’t necessarily happy with this performance and might be looking to switch alliances in the future, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Yahoo search might use different technology in the future.

This news surfaced just after Yahoo signed off on another year of partnership with Microsoft, an ongoing search revenue guarantee that dates back to 2010 when Yahoo switched its paid search services¬†from an internal function to Microsoft’s technology. The agreement provides Yahoo sites with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and,¬†in return, Microsoft gets a 12 percent cut of the revenue generated from paid search ads on Yahoo.

What was meant to be a search-advertising alignment that could contend with Google’s monopoly appears to be souring. The Wall Street Journal reported that Mayer may be looking to get out of the relationship as soon as possible – which might not be until 2015, unless Bing is sold or revenue per search falls below a certain point.

If the agreement disintegrates and Yahoo begins to use Google’s algorithms for its search results, marketers may need to adjust their SEO approaches. Pages with digital content optimized for Microsoft’s crawlers would need to be reworked to rank on Google, while sites that were designed for the number one search engine may begin gain traction with Yahoo’s audiences.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.