After a period of beta testing, Bing has now launched Native, or ‘intent’, ads in the UK and US. Designed to look like natural content, Bing bills their new native ads feature as a way of “getting additional high-quality traffic from non-search placements”. The new ad format expands the reach of Bing Ads to target user intent outside search. To gauge user intent, Bing uses three signals:
- Users’ interests according to prior search queries
- Intent signals from previous site visits
- Page content
Bing uses these intent signals and combines them with native experiences to display ads within relevant content. For example, this ad for Blue Yonder Airlines is displayed with in an article about airport layovers.
Currently, Bing Intent Ads are served on select MSN pages, which have an audience of over 55 million, and they can also appear in Outlook.com. Bing tells us that they are working on expanding their ‘intent network’ to more syndication partners over the next few months. Bing also tells us that the click through rate for native ads is, on average, 5 to 7 times higher than on ordinary display ads.
A word of caution: Since Bing has automatically opted advertisers in to native ads, it is advised you closely monitor impression and click volume to ensure that native ads are appropriate for your business. In order to opt out of native ads, simply apply a -100% native ads bid adjustment in the campaign settings.
Max Brockbank is Head of SEO at The Media Image. He previously served as Global Director SEO at Hilton Worldwide and Senior Client Success Manager at SearchMetrics. As a journalist, Max worked as a reporter and editor with regional and national newspapers including the FT and the Sun, and on global publications such as TIME Magazine.