Digital Insights

Yahoo Bing Network PPC Ads Deliver Higher Quality Traffic for Less Money


Published: October 9, 2014

With a commanding 67 percent share of the search market, Google has long been the unchallenged leader in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising with its AdWords platform. This market dominance has led many people to associate PPC advertising exclusively with Google, which is as unfair as it is unwise.

Especially given Google’s prohibitively high click rates for many verticals, local marketers would do well to consider the other major player in the PPC arena – the Yahoo Bing Network (YBN), which boasts a combined market share of 28 percent. While Google naturally delivers more ad impressions (the number of people who view an ad) than YBN due to its dominant market position, the cost per click rate for many verticals is significantly lower for YBN advertisers.

YBN is a one-stop advertising platform that includes PPC ads on both the Yahoo and Bing search engines, as well as access to syndicated partner sites including Amazon and Facebook that are not available to Google AdWords advertisers.

Google AdWords versus YBN: How They Compare
A U.S. study compared the results for PPC advertisers on both the Google AdWords and YBN platforms across six diverse market verticals: shopping and classified (including a fairly broad range of retail businesses), financial services, travel, education, computer and Internet related businesses, and business to business (B2B) companies (including various categories of B2B marketers):

  • Google AdWords delivered an average of 1.6 times the number of ad impressions for five of the six verticals, particularly for the shopping and classified-related businesses, over the YBN results.
  • In addition, Google AdWords delivered click-through rates (CTRs), or the percentage of people who click on an ad after seeing it, that were 2.4 to 5.9 times greater than for comparable YBN ads.
  • The advantage shifts to YBN when comparing the degree of competition. Across the six verticals studied, YBN marketers averaged 36 percent fewer paid search competitors when compared to AdWords advertisers.
  • Less competition translates to lower click rates; CPCs were 33 to 77 percent cheaper on YBN than for Google AdWords, and brand impressions for Google’s search results pages were 4.2 to 11.2 times higher than for comparable ads on YBN.

The YBN Advantage for Local Marketers
According to a research study commissioned by comScore, an estimated 45 million domestic YBN users report that they do not use Google; this represents a tremendous untapped opportunity for local marketers. Either a stand-alone YBN campaign or a joint Google AdWords-YBN effort could potentially boost overall revenue while increasing ROI (return on investment) for the marketer’s ad spend.

Other research studies have shown that Bing users convert at a higher rate, and spend an average of 24 percent more than Google users.

When it comes to customer support, YBN offers high-quality support to any advertiser who spends at least $500 per month. Google, on the other hand, provides a dedicated account representative only for those advertisers spending a minimum of $500,000 per year.

In short, YBN offers a more affordable alternative for the budget conscious advertiser than Google AdWords, which has priced itself beyond the reach of many local businesses. While a successful PPC campaign can be run on either platform, YBN might be the logical foundation for a cash-strapped marketer to start building a business upon.


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