With Google continuing to dominate spending on search advertising, Microsoft’s Bing Ads have had to struggle to get table scraps from advertisers. But the software company keeps plugging away, and with the close of Microsoft’s fiscal year on June 30, the ad group has decided to trot out some good news and plans for the 2015 fiscal year.
In a post that will go up Wednesday morning on the Bing Ads blog,David Pann, general manager for Microsoft’s Search Network, says clicks on Bing ads are up 30% from a year ago, and mobile ad clicks jumped 133%. We don’t know from what base, but it’s a healthy rise nonetheless.
That improvement is the result of adding more than 100 new features, such as call extensions that make it easy to direct people who view an ad to click on a phone number, as well as new ad formats, such as product ads in the U.S., a format that has been a big winner for Google. And Bing Ads has expanded to 35 countries, including Hong Kong and Taiwan last winter.
Also, just a few days ago, Microsoft doubled the number of search keywords that can be managed in Bing Ads, to 100,000, and promised 1 million keywords by year-end. In coming months, Pann also said, Bing Ads will offer advertisers ad performance reports in under a half-hour, down from up to four hours. (Lots more details at SearchEngineLand.)
Finally, Pann said the company has seen double-digit revenue-per-search growth in the past year, and that Microsoft remains “200% committed” to its search partnership with Yahoo. It’s not clear if the growth is good news or merely tepid news, but Pann might have been more convincing about the Yahoo partnership, which has been fraying for a long time, if he had used less fuzzy math.