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Does Bing Deserve More of Your Money?

It’s been all over the news and industry blogs over the past month or so that Yahoo has gained some ground in market share with the transition to becoming the default search engine for Firefox. While Larry Page claims he is not worried, for Yahoo and Bing, this is a good sign. Especially when it comes to advertising dollars.

While many users will most likely switch their settings and utilize Google as their default search engine, a decent amount of those users won’t. Leading to more opportunity for SEM managers to leverage Bing Ads and maybe even question how they break out budgets between engines.

For the longest time, Google has received the lion’s share of clients’ budgets. Having personally worked at agencies owned by Omnicom and smaller boutique agencies, the usually breakout I have seen is a 70/30 or 75/25 split between Google and Bing. With that being said, over the past few weeks, my team has begun to see increased performance from Bing Ads and has begun to shift budget from Google to Bing.

The Data

To look at this deeper, I aggregated data from 75 random accounts my agency managers and pulled daily budgets for these accounts from October 1, 2014 to January 21, 2015.

Here are some of the unique findings:

  • During this time period, an average of 6 percent of budget was transitioned from Google to Bing.
  • 13 of the 75 accounts saw budgets shift of 10 percent or more.
  • Five accounts saw budget shift from Bing to Google.

At the end of the day, the shifting in budgets between engines, campaigns, etc. falls on the SEM manager who controls it. But shifts like this do not occur out of the blue. Things like conversions, CPA, and other metrics fall into this equation as well, but with the additional market share, we have seen a positive increase in volume and quality of the volume coming from Bing Ads. This topic has been discussed at length by our SEM managers, who began seeing budget caps being reached on Bing Ads that had rarely come close to capping out prior to Firefox’s transition to Yahoo.

While Google is leveraging social media and is alerting users about the option to switch, it is clear that SEM managers do need to begin to look closer at budget allocation between engines. With rumors swirling around about Yahoo pushing to become Safari’s default engine and Marissa Mayer becoming more aggressive (see Gemini), this just may be the beginning of the conversation about budget allocation.

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