Bing launches bots for local businesses

Bots are coming to Bing in a big way. Through its Bot Framework, Microsoft is starting to integrate chatbots into search results — to make search more interactive and transactional.
In April, Matt McGee spotted the appearance of chat functionality for selected Seattle-area restaurants. That is now rolling out officially (still only to restaurants) through Bing Places and the newly launched Business Bot program. Microsoft will automatically create a bot from the data in Bing Places.
The business doesn’t need to do anything technical. It just answers a few structured questions and accepts the bot agreement terms. Thereafter, when users search for the business, a screen like the following will appear:

Users can then get basic questions about the business answered through the bot (e.g., “do you have outdoor seating?”). If there’s a question it can’t answer, the bot will refer the user to a phone number.
The bot can also ask business owners additional questions, depending on what information users are seeking. The new

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Bing Remarketing: The best-kept marketing secret

When you think about remarketing, I’m sure the top three platforms that immediately come to mind are Google, AdRoll and Criteo. But how often is the Bing Network associated with a successful remarketing program? I recently attended a Bing webcast on “The Art and Science of Remarketing Optimization” (PDF) and was pleasantly surprised by what I discovered.
Here are several recommendations for managing a successful Bing remarketing program based on my learnings.
Why consider remarketing?
Remarketing is a great way to (re)reach prospects who have already shown interest in your products or services. Remarketing allows you to personalize and customize search ads to these prospects and can lead to significant improvements in engagement and overall conversion rates. Additionally, remarketing ads can be served both natively on Bing and/or as a Bing Shopping Campaign.
3 steps to getting started

Add the UET to your website. Bing remarketing relies upon the implementation of their Universal Event Tag (UET). Bing uses this single tag to track

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Bing Ads Editor gets Review Extension support, better keyword import & more

A slew of helpful new changes have made their way into Bing Ads Editor’s new release, version v11.10. The changes enhance functionality, add features and alleviate issues within the Bing platform.
Support of Review Extensions
Thankfully, the new version of Bing Ads Editor supports Review Extensions and will be a godsend for paid search managers everywhere. No longer will advertisers be relegated to the web version for review extensions. The upgrade will allow for managing of the third-party reviews, along with implementing shared Review Extensions that can be added to multiple campaigns and ad groups.

Reviews will now be able to be easily copied/pasted, edited or associated between accounts. Advertisers will also be able to see columns within Ads Editor that show the associated campaigns and ad groups to help with insight and troubleshooting.
Smarter keyword import
One of the more annoying complications with Bing Ads Editor has been the inability for the software to differentiate between match types on a keyword list

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Bing Ads Editor now supports Enhanced CPC, exports to create expanded text ads

The latest version of Bing Ads Editor is out. Version 11.9 offers support for Enhanced CPC bidding and the ability to export standard text ads to a spreadsheet formatted for enhanced text ads.
If you’re not importing expanded text ads from AdWords, you can convert Bing Ads standard text ads to enhanced text ads (ETA) via Editor by selecting “Export as expanded text ads” from the Export tab in the Ads view. You’ll need to manually add a column titled “Title Part 2” to the Excel sheet. Once you update the ads to fit the ETA framework, import them back into Bing Ads Editor as Expanded Text Ads.

At the ad group or keyword level, you can select Enhanced CPC from the Bid Strategy drop-down in Editor instead of Manual CPC. Enhanced CPC adds an element of dynamic bidding in which bids may be increased automatically by up to 30 percent higher for searches deemed more likely to convert and up to

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The value of search across the modern consumer decision journey

As disruptive technologies reshape the digital marketing landscape, advertisers are scrambling to stay relevant and top of mind with consumers. In this shifting landscape, paid search continues to evolve outside of the traditional search format as an omnipresent influencer throughout the entire consumer decision journey.
For years, search marketers have obsessed over bottom-of-the-funnel activity for its seemingly higher CTRs and conversion rates, in part fueled by last-click attribution. I’ve certainly been guilty of obsessing about conversions and bottom-of-the-funnel tactics, because they would win me incremental search budget in the future.
But most marketers today agree that it is essential for a brand to appear at all stages of the funnel — and thanks to some new findings from the Bing Ads research team, we now have even more visibility and hard data to show how paid search is driving brand affinity and recall across the decision journey.
Deconstructing modern decision journeys & query paths
In many ways, today’s search marketers must unlearn

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Bing UK now displaying National Health Service data for GP & hospital search queries

According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), the publicly-funded national healthcare system has been working with Bing UK during the last year to improve search results for general practitioner and hospital queries.
“Over the last year, we have collaborated with our friends at Bing to provide users with a comprehensive GP and hospital search experience,” reports a recent post on the NHS Choices blog.
The NHS says that queries for “GP in [location]” on Bing UK will now surface a list of local options with information on specific locations, open times and user reviews – all data that has been pulled from the NHS.

Clicking on a result will display more information for the GP’s office.
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Bing refreshes weather search results with interactive slider to see forecasts throughout the day

Bing rolled out two new updates for weather-related queries today – adding a new look and feel to its weather search results and offering snow conditions and forecasts for U.S. ski resort searches.
The site has refreshed its entire “weather experience” so that weather searches for specific cities will return real-time forecasts and an interactive slider that shows the weather condition for certain times of the day, set against an image of the city’s landscape.
From the Bing Search Blog:
For major cities across the world, you’ll see the cityscapes in the background that adjust based on the time of day. You can see the Eiffel Tower light up Paris at night, or the sun glint off the Chicago River.
Bing says weather-related searches for smaller cities will get a color-based gradient to indicate weather conditions and climate throughout the day.

Bing also noted its weather search results are designed to respond to natural language – making it possible to ask follow-up

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Bing rejected 130M ads in 2016, including 17M tech support scam ads

Bing Ads released its report on actions it took to keep malicious and misleading ads and advertisers off the search results in 2016. Its systems rejected 130 million ads (fewer than the 250 million were rejected in 2015) and banned 175,000 advertisers (more than the 150,000 banned the prior year).
Phishing ads, ads promoting tech support scams and counterfiet goods continued to be areas in which Bing continued to battle bad actors. More than 7,000 sites were blocked for potential phishing attacks, and a million ads were blocked for hocking counterfeit items. Bing Ads banned third-party tech support advertisers altogether last year after finding it difficult to weed out the good from the bad. Its systems blocked more than 17 million tech support scam ads in 2016.

Bing added a software download policy for ads and says it “ramped up systems that detect browser hijacking ads, phishing attempts, scareware ads, ads targeting the most common sites on the internet, and

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Merkle: Google Q4 search growth aided by changes other than ETAs

Paid search spend growth held steady in Q4 with 14 percent growth year over year, according to Merkle’s latest Digital Marketing Report. That’s up from 13 percent growth seen in Q3. Google’s many changes, including device separation, helped drive growth.
In Q4, CPCs were off just 0.5 percent, and click volume growth slowed to 15 percent year over year. Mobile phone clicks accounted for 47 percent of clicks, up from 33 percent the year before. Tablet share fell to 9 percent with the device bidding separation. Desktop spend rose after the device separation to 63 percent.

A number of changes kept Google growing
Google paid search spend grew 19 percent year over year in Q4, down slightly from 20 percent growth in Q3. Spending on non-brand, however, rose slightly to 21 percent in Q4.

The biggest Google growth drivers among Merkle’s client set in Q4 were:

Returning device bidding and separating tablet and desktop bids. Merkle says this change made the biggest difference.”As

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Bing Ads rolls out scheduling for ad extensions

Advertisers can now choose when to show certain ad extensions in Bing Ads. Ad extension scheduling is rolling out for nearly all extensions globally.
When ad extension scheduling becomes available in your account, you’ll see the “Selected days and hours” section at the ad extension level, where you’ll be able to set times for specific days and choose whether to set the timing based on the user’s time zone or the time zone set at your account level.

Scheduling will be available via the Bing Ads API, Bing Ads Bulk Upload and the Google Import function. It is not yet available in Bing Ads Editor. Scheduling is an option for app, sitelink, callout, call, review, location and structured snippet extensions.
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