Bing Removes Sidebar Ads: What it Means for your Search Marketing

One of the goals of search engines is to improve the user experience and generate more valuable results for businesses who advertise there. So, to continue delivering the best possible experience for users and businesses, Bing is no longer serving text ads on the sidebar of its desktop search engine. This move follows Google’s sidebar ad removal in 2016 and is part of an effort to streamline how desktop and mobile search results appear to the user.  Mobile has accounted for nearly 60% of all searches in the past year.  

What exactly changed on Bing?

On Bing, text ads will now only appear above and below the local and organic results, although product ads will continue to be served on the sidebar. Bing is also increasing the number of bottom of page ads from three to four, providing an additional slot for paid text ads on the page.

This change first just affects the U.S., and international markets will be tested later in the year. At this time, only Bing desktop search is removing sidebar ads; Yahoo and AOL search engines are not impacted.

What does this mean for my search engine marketing?

When this change occurred on Google, we did not see much negative impact on ad performance. However, if you are running ads on Bing desktop search alone, it is possible you may see a decline in clickthroughs or a higher cost per click for some competitive keywords. It’s important to advertise your business on more than one search engine to take advantage of all available inventory and reach searchers who may be looking for your type of business. And, with mobile search continuing to climb, make sure you are optimizing your ad’s content and website or landing page for mobile viewing.

To talk to ReachLocal about SEM or other digital marketing solutions, contact us today.


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