In 2009 a deal was agreed between Yahoo! and Microsoft in which Bing would power Yahoo! Search. Recently Bing and Yahoo! began their transition of search marketing accounts in the US and Canada, from Yahoo!’s Yahoo! Search Marketing to Microsoft’s adCenter. For the last year, the PPC industry has been trying to guess what the impact would be on campaigns. With some initial data now in, we can now see interesting trends and results.
We monitored vital metrics for a sample of client campaigns as adCenter ads started to replace Yahoo! Search Marketing advertising. These figures are the aggregate statistics from both adCenter and Yahoo! Search Marketing accounts – the transition took place on 25/10/2010.
Click Through Rate (CTR) is decreasing
As advertisers’ accounts are migrated from Yahoo to Bing, the search space seems to be getting increasingly competitive over time. Advertisers who previously ran campaigns exclusively for the Yahoo! search space are now active in the Bing search space, and vice versa. This results in a decrease in overall CTR.
Costs per Click (CPCs) are increasing
With this added competition came rising CPCs, and more advertisers in the search space means increased costs. Furthermore, because of the reduced CTR from competitors siphoning your traffic, you are essentially paying more for less clicks.
According to my findings, the Bing Yahoo! merge has initially had a negative effect on PPC campaigns. CTR has dropped after the transition, and CPCs have risen.
However it is worth mentioning that with the streamlined adCenter interface, there are definite benefits to advertisers from the merge. For example, by having all activity in one platform better optimisation can be achieved across both search engines simultaneously. I’m actively maximising this to drive performance.
Leo McIntosh – PPC Analyst – Net Media Planet