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August 18, 2010

Bing: A Powerful New Choice in Search — SES San Francisco

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Woohoo, my last session for today. Fingers are holding up quite well, and thanks to not having to move rooms very often, my unaccustomed-to-heels feet are doing well also.  It’s been a few years since I’ve worn heels consistently.

Anyways, enough about my fingers and feet. This session is about Bing and how they are coming together with Yahoo! to become a new, powerful choice in search for consumers and advertisers. I have hopes it’ll be a good session with close to zero interruptions [see my last session about Twitter automation].

ses sf logo

No names on the Bing speakers, so for now we’ll go with Woman1, Man1, Man2 and Man3.

Woman1 starts her presentation with a video, basically a commercial of Bing/Yahoo! to talk about how change is never easy, but these companies are working to make sure change in this case equals opportunities for users.

Ohh, Woman1 is Tamara, Man1 is Anthony, Man2 is Chris.  [Yea for names… but I missed their titles. Sorry. Just know they’re important people at Yahoo! and Bing.]

Tamara is going to talk about what the alliance means to users.

For those of you who live under a rock, yesterday they announced that Yahoo! search results are now being provided by Bing.  [Big change, but didn’t we know that was coming?]

Why did Yahoo! and Bing come together? Because together they make a powerful new choice in search. Competition is a good thing and prompts innovation.  This can only benefit us, the users.

It also gives users more volume with less effort, faster innovation through scale, provides a better search experience for the consumers and improves ROI.

By coming together and collecting data, they feel they will be able to better serve us, the consumer.

So now onto what the transition means for paid advertisers and how we need to handle it, which Chris is going to talk about.

1. Account transition options:

  • Keep your existing adCenter account and augment.
  • Create a new adCenter account and import your third-party structure.
  • Create a new adCenter account and import your Yahoo! structure.

If you already have an account, you should keep it in order to preserve your history in that account. You can import in data from your other account while preserving the history [not clear if that’s the history from the other properties or not though. I’m thinking probably not, but I could be wrong].

2. Analyze your campaigns and ad groups.

  • Familiarize yourself with adCenter features.
    • Recent launches have added capabilities like negative keywords, adCenter Desktop, network syndication controls and domain blocking on search (soon).
  • Perform a campaign analysis and build out your campaigns.
    • Determine where you lack developed campaigns in adCenter. You can build out your adCenter campaigns if your account is not at parity with other engines.
  • Check your structure and campaigns post-account transition.
    • Make sure you are familiar with important mapping of campaign and ad group settings.

3. Maximize your keyword coverage.

  • Understand the keyword mapping differences across platforms:
    • Yahoo! canonicalization
    • adCenter normalization

This means that if you’re moving over your campaign, be sure to build out your sets. Include misspellings for queries that matter most.

4. Match types make a difference.

  • Match types in adCenter are aligned with the industry standard.
    • You can also specify unique bids for each match type within the same ad group.

Yahoo!’s standard match and advanced match are equivalent to adCenter’s exact match and broad match respectively.

5. Budgeting for an increase in impression and click volume.

  • For managed advertisers:
    • You’ll be required to sign new IOs for the unified marketplace and your Yahoo! reps are now well equipped to give guidance for Q4 budget allocation accounting for seasonal trends for both Yahoo! and Bing traffic.
  • For self-serve advertisers:
    • For assistance with budgeting there is online help and available tools in the Center of Excellence and call center assistance offered by adCenter.

Tip: allocate some budget “buffer” to account for seasonality and short-term market fluctuations post transition.

6. Monitor, Measure, Modify… and Repeat

  • The best way to know what is working for you is to consistently monitor your campaigns and adjust accordingly based on your results.

To talk about how you can align your SEO to compliment your SEM, Anthony is going to go over some opportunities. He starts with a slide that shows 4.8 billion monthly searches come from the search alliance. [Who doesn’t want some of that? Show of hands anyone?]

Anthony says that after talking to many folks on the expo floor, there were some common questions that came up and he wants to cover with his presentation.

SEO for Bing and how will it affect rankings:

  • Ranking 100% based on how Bing indexes and ranks relevance of your site.
  • The principles of SEO remain unchanged.
  • Content is king.
    • SEO principles are unchanged, focus on valuable content for your users.

So, Anthony says to still optimize your pages for Bing crawlers. For the most part if you already rank will you’ll continue to do so. [I’ve always said they were more about what was on the site, whereas Google bases rankings more on what’s happening off your site. Glad to see I wasn’t too far off on that.]

Crawling and indexing:

  • Give Bing crawler access to crawl your sites.
  • Changing user agents from msnbot to bingbot by Oct. 1.
  • More information is available at http://www.bing.com/webmaster.
  • bingbot@microsoft.com if you have issues.
    • Ensure bingbot has access to your Web pages.

Webmaster Tools:

  • Register your sites.
  • Share information to help Bing crawl and index your sites.
  • Explore what’s available in the Webmaster Tools area.

[Something I’m happy about:] Yahoo! Site Explorer is still available and they encourage you to continue to use it.  Bing is working with the Site Explorer team to ensure any info shared over there also makes its way to Bing.

[Again, if you’ve been living under a rock:] Bing Webmaster Tools have been redone and have some snazzy new features.  [They really do… so check them out.]  Bing wanted to create more transparency and give you insight to how your site is being crawled and indexed. The new tools are on a new platform, have data data data (up to 6 months back). They come with a simplified UX and include rich visualizations.

[It looks like Bing is trying to be smart about the alliance.  There have already been some changes implemented that I, personally, have been pleased with and look forward to seeing more.  If you’ve always considered Yahoo! and Bing less important engines, start to change your way of thinking because now they have a large percentage of market share and that means opportunities for your sites and/or your clients.  4.8 billion is a large number and nothing to sneeze at. So check out the Webmaster Tools and adCenter.  You just might be pleasantly surprised.]





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