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News from Episode 299

By Site Strategics
February 2, 2019

John Lee of Bing Ads

When you want to hear very knowledgeable people provide commentary and analysis on trending digital marketing news, listen to EDGE hosts Erin Sparks (Site Strategics CEO) and Tom Brodbeck (Site Strategics Digital Media Director) on the EDGE of the Web podcast. For Episode 299 special guest Product Learning Strategist John A. Lee of Bing Ads had the opportunity to join EDGE hots Erin and Tom for the news roundup. Here’s the latest digital marketing news from the EDGE:

Bing Ads Launches Page Feeds for Easier DSA Management

Over at Search Engine Land, Editor-in-Chief Ginny Marvin reports that the launching of page feeds by Bing Ads will result in easier dynamic search ads (DSA) management because it will allow managing URL groupings for auto targets in DSA campaigns. As this feature is rolled out to all accounts in the coming weeks, users will see that the Bing Ads page feeds are also compatible with Google Ads Page Feeds. DSA ads are based on an algorithm that looks at your site or landing page content and then matches that up with search engine queries to dynamically create and deliver an ad all without the advertiser needing to enter keywords or phrases.

  • John Lee: DSA creates a nice through-line from search query to ad to your landing page and takes a lot of the guesswork out of it. But it’s not meant to be a standalone campaign. It should be viewed as complementing your traditional search-based campaigns. It’s a way of catching the queries you didn’t or couldn’t identify yourself. It works best with relatively small, simple websites. As your site increases in complexity, this new page feeds feature takes some of the heat off what could otherwise be a tedious manual task. This all helps streamline DSA campaign management.
  • Erin Sparks: DSA is great because you can get much higher click-through rates because the ads are actually responding to user behavior and are also dynamically shaped the relevant keywords. This is how machine learning can really help with ad campaign management.

Microsoft and Yahoo Extend Bing Ads Deal

Tech industry reporter Mary Jo Foley writes in ZDNet that despite the troubled history between Microsoft and Yahoo since the former tried to purchase the latter back in 2008, Bing Ads is now becoming the exclusive search advertising platform for both Yahoo and AOL, which are owned by parent company Verizon Media. Bing Ads had already taken over search ads for AOL from Google in 2015, which was the same year it became responsible for a 51% share of Yahoo’s search ads. With this new deal, Microsoft officials are predicting it will increase clicks in the Bing Ads marketplace by 10-15% in the US.

  • John Lee: Yes, this is definitely a big deal and makes good business sense. And of course, I’m happy that Bing Ads will be exclusive search ad supplier for Yahoo and AOL. Believe it or not, there are still a substantial number of people using AOL – their website might actually still be in top 100 websites, though you’d hve to check that. But it’s also important to remember that as big a deal as this is for search query ads, Yahoo and AOL and the other Verizon Media properties still make more money from display ads than they do from search ads, so that’s part of this equation as well because they’re now going to also be able to access some of our premium inventory since we rolled out Microsoft Audience Network back in May of 2018 that serves native content placements on MSN, Outlook.com, the Edge browser and other partner sites. The rollout of the search ads deal is going to be implemented very quickly – by sometime in March.

Bing Ads Offers a Chances at Prizes for Agencies to Increase Participation

Back to Editor-in-Chief Ginny Marvin at Search Engine Land, she reports that Bing Ads is offering agencies a chance to win prizes for their accreditations, new accounts and more through a sweepstakes aimed at incentivizing an increase in participation with the advertising platform. This started back on January 2 and agencies can accrue one entry in the Bing Ads contest with each Bing Ads Accredited Professional (BAAP) certification, up to ten entries for new accounts added to their Bing Ads agency accounts and five entries for enrolling in the Bing Partner Program. Grand prize winners will earn a trip for two to the Bing Partner Summit in May at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, WA, or to Bing Day Dublin in April, depending on the agency’s location. Others will win an Xbox One or gift cards. The prizes will be awarded in March. 

  • John Lee: As an organization, we take real pride in building relationships with client agencies through the Bing Partner Program. This is serious relationship-building that goes way beyond just having an account representative. It’s about very regular communication and check-ins, and finding creative ways to incentivize increased participation.

Google Tells Some Advertisers it Will Handle Their Campaign Management

One last piece again from Ginny Marvin at Search Engine Land explains how advertisers who don’t opt out within seven days of receiving the email notification will have Google Ads reps making changes to advertiser accounts. What exactly would the reps be doing? Theoretically, “key changes that can help you get more out of your ads, from restructuring your ad groups and modifying your keywords to adjusting your bids and updating your ad text.” Google was quick to point out that advertisers can still opt out later at any time, and that suggested optimizations can be reviewed and accepted or rejected. Google also put out a disclaimer basically saying “don’t blame us if you don’t get the results you wanted.” If Google’s optimizations have a negative impact, the company “may” offer a refund.

  • Erin Sparks: This feels like an extreme overreach on the part of Google. Maybe this will make a bunch of advertisers move to another platform…like Bing Ads! And if they actually go around an agency and contact their client directly, that would be a big no-no.
  • John Lee: Taking off my Bing Ads hat for a moment and approaching this from what was my original perspective on the agency side, this seems like a big red flag and a very risky move on their part.

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