The recent announcement that Yahoo's organic searches are officially powered by Bing, which Brafton reported earlier this week, may leave marketers rejoicing that they only need to optimize their sites for two search engines. As businesses are likely preparing website content for Bing's web indexing system, the next step is to plan paid search campaigns for the Microsoft adCenter.
With holiday shopping around the corner, marketers will want to plan their Q4 paid search campaigns with Bing in mind. Microsoft has released a Search Alliance Checklist with information to help advertisers experience a smooth transition.
The first step, according to the checklist, is for marketers to compare their keywords and related click performances across the search engines. Bing "associates multiple matches with a single keyword," so marketers will need to create multiple entries in their keyword spreadsheets for adCenter.
The Checklist also offers some in-depth tips on what to look for in adCenter that makes Bing unique among search engines. For instance, the adCenter doesn't support an "Exact Negative" keyword option, creative copy is a single field instead of two lines and keyword tracking codes are different.
These tips may come in handy for a number of marketers as Microsoft reports that marketers spend 17 percent of their budgets on Yahoo, while just 5 percent are currently spending on Bing. In fact, 13 percent of advertisers say they aren't currently using Bing at all.
It remains to be seen how paid search campaigns on Bing will perform, though the outlook is bright as the latest comScore data reveals that Yahoo and Bing together accounted for 32.7 percent of consumer queries last month. Still, Google is the reigning search market champ, accounting for 61.6 percent of core searches in July. Notably, Microsoft continually refers marketers to Google as a reference for understanding their adCenter campaigns.
No matter which search engine they prepare campaigns for, it's clear marketers are positioned to pay more for paid search ads. As Brafton previously reported, paid search ad spend was up 51 percent in July over last year and more spending could pay off – consumers clicked on ads at 31 percent higher rates last month than in the same period of 2009.