Bing has some big news heading into the new year: it will now be powering AOL’s search engine. Bing currently powers its own search engine, which as of January 2016 has 350 million users, as well as Yahoo’s search engine, which has over 300 million uses. The addition of AOL, which boasts around 125 million users, brings Bing’s total reach to almost 700 million users, or over 60% of Google’s 1.1 billion users. This addition has quietly transformed Bing into a serious competitor with Google, and is especially beneficial for advertisers who use Bing Ads instead of Google Adsense.
Bing Ads has a distinct advantage over Google due to its more affordable rates, and higher click-through rates, but this news will bring additional growth. In a recent Bing Ads update, the search engine giant has estimated that a dramatic increase in the volume of clicks that could reach as high as 8%. This means that not only will their clients have access to an addition 125 million search engine users, but that they made see even higher click through rates, or at the very least see similar rates with quicker returns now that their ads will be even more visible to search engine users.
It is difficult to estimate what this will me for conversions, but what is clear is that those using Bing Ads will have access to a superior target audience than those using Google Adsense. According to Dalip Tyagi, AOL users, like those who use Bing and Yahoo, “have higher household incomes” that Google users. This means they have more disposable income and are more likely to spend money. Likewise, Tyagi notes that they AOL’s users are more likely to have attended college or university, and tend to spend more money online. This means that these users are far more valuable than those one have access to on Google.
Bing Ads has a variety of extensions that offer users different ways to increase their click-through rates, and little if any of this should change with the addition of AOL. For example, Tyagi notes that “Ad extensions including Sitelink Extensions, Dynamic Sitelinks, Location Extensions and Call Extensions” will all be on board, and that “Annotations including Long Ad Titles, Bolding and Merchant Ratings”, ad well as Customer Ratings and “Product Ads will be in beta at the time of launch.” Thus, those who use the extensions and annotations offered by Bing Ads should have a smooth transition.
WHAT ADVERTISERS NEED TO DO
Because Bing anticipates higher click volumes, advertisers will likely see quicker results. This may mean that budgets that had lasted a month might only last three weeks. The rates won’t necessarily be more expensive, but the results will come in quicker, so where it might have taken four weeks to get $100 worth of clicks, advertisers can expect see those same number of clicks come in after only three weeks. Budget evaluations might be in line then, either causing advertisers to spend a little more, or simply causing them to allocate money differently. Likewise, because AOL has a different user base, results may change. This means advertisers will have to monitor their bids and keywords as their new viewers may engage with the same keywords in a different way. Those who struggle with this might find my Pay Per Click (PPC) program to be useful.
Though some might be reluctant to increase the capital they are investing in their current advertising campaigns, the addition of AOL search users to Bing is ultimately good news for advertisers who use Bing Ads. Bing is fast approaching a billion users, and with the roll out of Windows 10 designed to further increase that number, it seems likely that Google will have some stiff competition in the search engine market. Because AOL’s users have higher salaries and disposable incomes, and are more likely to spend money online, they are exactly the type of users that advertisers want to take advantage of. For those who have found Google Adsense to be expensive and/or ineffective, now might be a better time than ever to give Bing Ads a try.
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