It’s (another) new chapter in the the tangled web of relationships between the search advertising networks. Tuesday, Microsoft announced the launch of the Bing Network, marking the end of the Yahoo Bing Network.
Despite the fact that Bing Ads continues to serve ads on a sizable percentage of Yahoo search results, Stephen Sirich, GM of Bing Ads, mentioned Yahoo just once in his blog post announcing the Bing Network — and it substantively pertained to account management:
“With the transition of all U.S. accounts (and with them, people and account management) from Yahoo to Bing, the Bing Network also represents an expanded network of partners, including AOL, Wall Street Journal and more, adding more searches and clicks to the network every day.”
The Bing Network is the result of the renegotiated search deal between Microsoft and Yahoo last April, five years into the 10-year deal. Under the original deal, Yahoo’s ad sales teams handled premium accounts — higher spending advertisers and brands — for both companies. The new deal returns ad sales and account management back to each company: Bing handles Bing customers, Yahoo handles Yahoo customers. Bing has since beefed up its search sales force to more than 400 representatives.
While Yahoo has focused on building out the capabilities of its nascent Gemini platform and serving search ads on its properties (mobile was never part of the search deal, but Yahoo never went after it until Marissa Mayer joined the company as CEO), Microsoft has been expanding Bing’s footprint across Microsoft properties — Xbox, Cortana, Windows 10, native advertising on MSN — and beyond on syndication partners, Amazon devices, and Apple’s Siri and Spotlight search.
“As a company, our unique ability to power the operating systems we use every day – from PCs, tablets and phones to consoles, cars and the Internet of Things – gives us the opportunity to put Bing truly everywhere,” says Sirich.
Bing has also been rebranding with a new teal logo introduced last month.
Bing appears to have taken down its chart tracking weekly click volume on the Yahoo Bing network generated by Bing Ads (Bing launched the tracker last June to help assure advertisers there were not massive volume losses happening as a result of the new deal). But as of mid-January it shows Bing Ads delivered roughly 85 percent of the network’s clicks across all devices.
Yet, with Yahoo’s trajectory up in the air, the new search deal, and that pending deal with Google to serve search ads on Yahoo properties, Bing is setting to move forward on its own, shoring up new partners and a bigger presence within the Microsoft ecosystem.
Bing will also have to continue to invest in its platform and reassure advertisers of its stability. The announcement comes shortly after a major reporting snag affected the entire Bing Ads platform and took more than a week to fully resolve.