This is the subhead for the blog post

Key Takeaways

  • Bing Ads is now the sole provider of all search advertising across Bing, Yahoo, and AOL
  • Oath/Gemini served its last search impression March 28 for 3Q advertisers
  • Initial Bing Ads traffic increase for 3Q accounts looks to be around 8% overall “incremental” clicks
  • Click share by device remains in line with recent Bing performance
  • Bing click share by network remains in line with recent performance

Background

In January, Bing Ads announced it would become the exclusive provider of all search advertising across Bing, Yahoo, and AOL properties through an expanded partnership with Verizon Media.

Not only does the move increase access to the overall search audience via Bing Ads, it also simplifies management for advertisers as all this traffic moves under one roof. Search traffic began shifting over from Gemini/Oath March 18, and ended March 29, with 3Q advertisers seeing their last search impressions on the platform March 28.

Methodology

Looking at 3Q’s Bing accounts and their millions of weekly search clicks, we’re seeing an overall lift in search volume corresponding with the switch. The data below includes only US-focused accounts, as international campaigns are still being transitioned at the time of writing. Accounts explicitly targeting non-US regions have been scrubbed from the data, though there may be a measure of international traffic included from non-specific campaigns.

Overall Trends

For the week beginning March 31st, the first full week post-migration, click traffic for 3Q advertisers increased 25% from the week beginning March 17, when the migration began. A portion of this increase is likely due to spend pushes on the platform resulting from new monthly budgets for April, however. Controlling for this, we compared traffic from the first full week of March (with new budgets) to the week of March 31. Here, we see an increase in click traffic for Bing Ads of 8%. While this number falls short of Bing’s estimated 10-15% increase on the whole, it’s still a welcome increase for the platform.

NOTE: Impression data in the above chart mapped to left-hand axis, click data to the right-hand.

Device Breakdown

Advertisers hoping for a significant increase in mobile traffic with this transition may be disappointed, at least for now. After a nice bump in smartphone click share to 12% of the total for the week of 3/24, 3Q client accounts saw the number revert back to 9%; in line with previous readings. Smartphone traffic was 16% higher in the 3/31 week than the week of 3/3, so there is growth occurring on the device, but not overwhelmingly more than on other devices.

Network Implications

At least initially, there wasn’t a major shift in traffic source with the increased Bing Ads traffic. The click share distribution has remained very similar to pre-migration numbers (audience network was not included here). Traffic from Search Partners has risen slightly, from 9-10% in the weeks preceding the migration to 13% for the week of March 24, before falling back to 11% for the March 31 week. Bing and Yahoo Search remains the dominant network for Bing Ads, with just under 90% of the total traffic. AOL search (yes, it’s still a thing) remained right around 1% of total clicks for the entirety of the observed period.

Conclusion

While this deal wasn’t expected to be a game-changer for the Bing Ads platform from a performance standpoint, advertisers will always welcome the increased traffic. Long-term, the merger should be good for advertisers as more traffic benefits from the improving AI and audience insights available on the Bing Ads platform. For now, it’s important for marketers to keep an eye on their Bing traffic, and adjust bids and budgets where necessary.

If anyone should be cheering this “merger,” it’s the search account managers. Farewell, Gemini interface.