Microsoft announced today that the Bing Ads platform will be integrated with Windows 8.1 Smart Search, giving Bing Ads advertisers more reach and a new ad format.
Released last week, Smart Search in Windows 8.1 allows users to search across the Web, apps, devices and the cloud with one query. The results are then returned in one view. You can see the search box integrated into the right-hand side of Windows 8.1 below.
With the Bing Ads integration into Smart Search, ads are automatically eligible to be shown across Bing, Yahoo and Windows Search for relevant search queries. The new reach lets Microsoft address one of advertisers’ key complaints about the Bing/Yahoo network, namely the lack of search and click volume. How much advertisers will see from this integration remains to be seen. According to Microsoft, over 100 million Windows 8 licenses have been sold.
The ad results will include Web previews of the advertisers’ websites, in addition to site links and extensions. The screenshot shows an example of what the new ad results will look like in Smart Search.
Bing Ads advertisers don’t need to do anything in their campaigns to be eligible or to have their websites appear in the ad formats. We’ve asked for more information about what types of reporting insights advertisers will have into traffic and ad performance on Windows 8.1 Smart Search, and will update here when we know more.
Update: Separate reporting insights are not available for Windows 8.1 ads at this time. Performance data will continue to be shown in aggregate.
David Pann, General Manager, Microsoft Advertising Search Group, said in a conversation yesterday that the Bing integration with Windows is a key example of how the company is approaching the evolution of search. Bing is no longer being positioned as just a search engine, but as an integral service within the Windows operating system and the company’s partnerships with Yahoo, Facebook, and Apple. Bing will be available to users “where they are,” rather than a destination users have to navigate to.
Pann says search ad formats will continue to evolve along with Bing’s new integration and to expect to see more innovation on this front.