January saw the announcement of Bing Ads exclusively taking over management for Yahoo and AOL search ads starting in March.
Oath had been renamed Verizon Media and Yahoo Gemini had switched to the name “Oath Ad Manager” only recently but Verizon (who agreed to the acquisition of Yahoo Inc. in 2016) are clearly trying to consolidate and stabilize the decade-long crumbling of the Yahoo empire. Regardless of the ultimate life expectancy of much of the Yahoo portfolio, the status quo was always on borrowed time.
The key question for agencies and advertisers is, what will it mean in the management of your search advertising?
The whole handover from Yahoo to Bing Ads is going to be far shorter than version 1.0 of this arrangement, which was implemented around 11 years ago. Only two weeks were allotted from the first blush to full transition, which is now, at the end of March.
The biggest impact here will be in the advertiser workflow. Obviously, you have one less platform but you also have a far better platform set as Bing and Google are very similar now. Bing will, thanks to its increase in traffic data, be able to introduce smart, query-level bidding solutions approximate to Google in a shorter timeframe than before. This will be great news for those seeking efficiency and less time spent on the Bing platform.
From an account management point of view, your year-on-year reviews are going to be more complicated. But you’re also going to have one less budget to forecast. So you win some, you lose some.
Bing Ads will account for around 35% of search traffic in the US. In international markets where Yahoo is a bigger search engine than Bing, there will be a huge jump.
Since responsive ads (native ads by another name) are in Bing Ads just as they are in Oath/Gemini, your creative will continue to deliver on websites but at a higher volume in a single account.
Search will be easier to control since Oath/Gemini had a different set of options and features, and had very different ad types.
A big takeaway from the last year or so is that Bing is heavily on a growth trajectory. Here are a few data points:
Be prepared to work harder on optimizing your Bing accounts and you should see more traffic and sales than ever (especially if you never before waded into the murky Yahoo Gemini waters).
Steve Plimmer is the Head of Account Management US at ESV Digital. He can be found on Twitter @SPlimmer_ESV.
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