The world has been “googling” for over a decade now, but will we soon be seeing real competition for the search-advertising dollar? No. Not if you ask search marketing firm Greenlight.

Over a year ago, Yahoo! and Microsoft struck a deal to allow search advertisers to serve ads across both Yahoo! and Bing. They claimed it would shore up over 30% of the US search market for advertisers. Now the alliance is moving in to Europe, but Greenlight thinks the 90% market leader Google will still reign supreme for some time longer.

“The Alliance won’t help close the gap or dependence on Google in the UK”, says Matthew Whiteway, client services director at Greenlight. “For starters, it will still only account for around 7% of the UK search space as a combined force. Bing, who made the mistake of launching an expensive marketing campaign in the UK to drive searchers its way when it was still in Beta, failed to persuade the audience its offering was superior to Google’s, thereby losing a valuable chance to sway users its way.”

Greenlight says results so far in the US have been mixed. Some advertisers are reporting increased cost per clicks (CPC’s), reduced click through rates (CTR’s) and fluctuating cost per acquisitions (CPA’s). Others have suggested the Alliance has delivered more favourable results, including an increase in search volumes and sales.

Greenlight says that although traffic and conversion numbers are relatively low across Bing and Yahoo, before the alliance, brands were able optimise them separately to drive the best possibleresults.

“Granted, the time saved by using a single platform to optimise both sites will be appreciated,” Whiteway says. “It would, however, be preferable and far more useful to see the results split by site and be able to act accordingly, even if this does take an extra few hours per day.”

“Microsoft had one chance in the UK to sway searchers away from Google. It failed by delivering a solution, which at the time of promotion was inferior to that of Google. Things may have changed, but trying to convince the user of that again will be a struggle.”