You’ve gotta take the Oath: Bing expands, but does it matter?

Reporting and metrics being viewed on a white tablet

Goodbye, Yahoo Gemini. Verizon Media, who you may know as Oath, is increasing its partnership with Bing by sharing data around each other’s native network. As of March 15th, Gemini will be gone and “all search advertising opportunities across Verizon Media properties, including campaigns on both Yahoo and AOL, will be exclusively served by Bing Ads.”

 

What kind of impact will this have?

Bing only makes up an estimated 8%–10% of search traffic so this isn’t something that is going to move the needle. However, it does consolidate the number of platforms that search marketers will have to optimize. Even if you’re using a bid management platform, this is one less Insertion Order that needs to go out. On a lighter note, this might be worth a “congrats” to any paid search marketers you know, as Gemini has always been the least advanced and certainly the biggest pain to optimize of any search engines.

While not a major shift, this does move Bing in the right direction by increasing the amount of traffic it controls as well as bolstering its audience network data—something that is much needed. More data means more audience insights and that is a good thing. Bing is never going to be Google, but we know it serves its purpose and any increase in traffic or control of traffic strengthens its position..

 

What to do about it?

Estimates vary, but expect Bing traffic to increase by roughly 12%. If you are running on Yahoo Gemini, take a look into your account to see exactly how much volume you have there. Theoretically, this should all convert over to Bing mid-March.

  1. Ensure budgets are set properly to catch this increase in traffic. Don’t forget about those pesky internal Bing IOs on the backend if you don’t have direct invoicing set up.
  2. It’s worth asking your Bing reps to take a look at your accounts specifically. Any traffic shift such as this will certainly affect campaigns differently and they may have some insights into how to take advantage early.
  3. Monitor performance!
    • Watch those device bid adjustments. Most of the Gemini traffic moving over to Bing will be across mobile so these may have a disproportionate effect on performance.
    • If you use a bid management platform like Kenshoo or Marin, monitor those portfolio bid models. These algorithms haven’t had to deal with many situations like this which might cause a blip in performance.
  4. Gather audience insights. While this isn’t going to be a huge shift, it is going to make Bing’s audience tools, like Microsoft Graph, more powerful. This should give you actionable information to use not only for search but also across channels.

Earth shattering stuff, we know. But if you have important campaigns running across Bing Ads and Yahoo Gemini, take these insights as housekeeping tips at a minimum. It’s a small shift, but a shift nonetheless. Take advantage and try to learn something from it.