Guest post from Cedric Chambaz, Marketing Manager - Search & SMB, Microsoft Advertising
A year ago, thanks to our London-based Search Technology Centre, Bing removed its beta tag in the UK after hitting aggressive qualitative objectives just five months after its international launch. Since then, the 60+ engineers, based in Soho, have continued to further enrich and localise Bing global experience for British users. These product innovations combined to the mass marketing campaign have contributed to build a clear momentum in the UK amongst consumers, publishers and advertisers.
Bing user base has not only grown in that period, but these more numerous users are also using Bing more often. This resulted in a growing query share by +0,59 percentage points to 3.53% (source: comScore September). In addition, Bing’s natural growth is accelerating through a number of high profile partnerships with prominent publishers who have decided to trust Microsoft’s search capabilities. For instance, Facebook web search is now powered by Bing and more recently Yahoo! tied a unique partnership which will drastically change the deal in search and search marketing. Microsoft and Yahoo! have indeed agreed on a search alliance, whereby Microsoft will globally power Yahoo!’s organic search and search advertising. This means that advertisers will be able to promote their business to a larger combined audience through the convenience of a single search marketing platform, Microsoft Advertising adCenter.
Yahoo! and Microsoft have already achieved some major milestones. In August 2010, Bing began powering the English-language organic search results for Yahoo! Search in North America. Soon after this it powered the Yahoo! Search Spanish-language organic search results in the United States and the French-language organic search results in Canada. Late October, we announced that adCenter began powering all of the paid search advertisements on Yahoo!’s owned and operated properties and its publisher network in the U.S. and Canadian markets. This means that in North America, Microsoft now provides the organic search results for all web, image and video searches, and the paid search advertisements on Yahoo! Search, Bing and Yahoo! publisher network.
Both companies anticipate starting the organic and paid search transitions in select markets in Europe early 2011, and plan to complete the transitions with quality in all European markets by early 2012. In particular we intend to start with the UK, France and Ireland, with other markets to follow. If both companies feel that it would improve the overall experience, we may adjust the timing of the transitions. For more information, you may want to keep an eye on www.searchalliance.com/uk
More and more advertisers are already capitalising on Bing’s momentum to drive great return on their advertising spend. As mentioned in a previous article, SMBs tend to see that Bing converts more for less. In fact the latest Nielsen NetRating report states that Bing users are 48% more likely to purchase than the average British searcher. To help you benefit from this great audience, and maximise your advertising impact, our team of search experts have published recently a series of 5 great essential tutorials. They should help you address most of your questions around search advertising, from targeting to copy writing or bidding strategies… In perfect timing for the Year End seasonal peak.
To sum things up, as Bing blows its first candle in the UK, it is now a piece of cake to advertise to its growing, high quality audience… Excuse for the pun!