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Bing Product Ads Finally Debuts

The trend toward product listing ads appearing in search listings has pulled along the Microsoft Bing/Yahoo search advertising partnership too. Microsoft announced its Bing Ads service now offers Product Ads for its advertisers.

Product Ads represent the continued evolution of the search ad from simple text link to a richer content product. Images, pricing, ratings and other information can be delivered to a search results page based on the keywords/ keyphrases searched by someone.

The move mirrors search ad leader Google’s shift from offering a shopping service to a paid ad service, which in Google’s case led to the closure of Google Product Search in favor of its Product Listing Ads. Bing began testing Product Ads in early 2013.

In August 2013 the impact of such ads began to make itself known. Marin Software found significant increases in clicks and click-through-rates for Product Listing Ads over conventional textual advertising.

EcommerceBytes contacted Microsoft regarding the debut of Product Ads. However the company isn’t quite ready to share deeper details about Product Ads yet, per our conversation with a Microsoft spokesperson. When asked what it learned during the testing of Product Ads and which product categories drew the most Product Ads actions (clicks, conversions) during testing, the spokesperson replied, “We are constantly gathering data from participants throughout beta in order to enhance our product offering. We hope to have user-experience and information to share regarding performance in the next 1-2 months.”

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And asked what Microsoft would consider key differences for Product Ads for Mobile versus those appearing for desktop browsers, the spokesperson the company was currently testing mobile implementation for product ads on a very small subset of traffic. “We will use our findings to fine-tune the product and will be able to better answer this closer to launch later this year.”

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David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.