Last month, Microsoft celebrated the 10th anniversary of Bing as its Internet search engine. If your remember well, it wasn’t Microsoft’s first try at this market. The tech giant previously marketed MSN Search, Windows Live Search, and Live Search. Often mocked, Bing is actually far from a failure. 😉
Putting things into perspective
Microsoft now generates roughly $7.5 billion in annual revenue from web search advertising. Such is, of course, quite small compared to Google’s $120 billion in ad sales over the last 12 months. Yet it’s more revenue made by Microsoft’s LinkedIn professional network or its line of Surface devices.
In recent years, the company outsourced portions of its advertising business and placed Bing in areas that Microsoft controls or that Google simply couldn’t snatch. Microsoft crucially made Bing front and center for people using search boxes on Windows computers and Office software, guaranteeing that a significant share of PC owners would consciously (or unconsciously) use the search engine.
(Bing generates more revenue than) Microsoft’s LinkedIn professional network or its line of Surface devices.
In 2019, Bing secured a deal to handle searches and ads related to searches on Yahoo, AOL and other Verizon Communications Inc. internet properties. Albeit not the most prestigious, these have a lot of traffic hence a lot of people searching for consumer products and local businesses. This increases the use of Bing and ups the ad revenue that goes through Microsoft’s accounts.
Bing may lag in market share (5.59% in the US as of 2018), yet it has seduced many advertisers. “I was around for the launch of Bing in 2009. It was an exciting time for advertisers — we could see that Microsoft was serious about search ads, and were optimistic about the future,” says Melissa Mackey, a well know PPC professional. “Today, Microsoft Advertising has carved out a permanent place at the table when it comes to paid search. Advertisers often see better results from Microsoft Ads’ unique audience. Now, with their partnership with LinkedIn, advertisers can get audience targeting options that aren’t available with any other search provider. Microsoft Ads continues to deliver innovative solutions for advertisers, while maintaining the focus on the customer that has made them a favorite in the PPC industry.”
Bing may lag in market share (5.59% in the US as of 2018), yet it has seduced many advertisers.
According to Digital Marketing agency Aborg, the main demographics for Bing users are as follows:
. Users of Bing are generally less-techy.
And this also supports further stats about users who use the search engine:
. Bing users are more-so blue collar than white collar.
. Bing searchers are for the most part, 35+ in age.
. Bing searchers are more likely to have children, based on their age.
Those attributes can be very interesting for advertisers who are interested in certain target markets.
This is what the future holds: the company is also focusing on a few core verticals to develop specialized solutions (co-bidding pilot for retailers and brands as well as working with agencies to help them deploy Microsoft technology). A program named One Microsoft for marketers englobes advertising, Azure machine learning and other Microsoft technologies in order to create custom experiences.
Well played Microsoft. 👌🏽