Live Search Testing Icons In Sponsored Search Ads

Here’s something you probably haven’t seen unless you’re a Microsoft employee:

Live search screenshot

The screenshot above shows a Honda logo icon placed inside a Live Search sponsored search ad. It comes to us from a Search Engine Land reader doing search marketing in the auto industry, who explained how it happened: “I’ve been told by Microsoft reps that I should not be seeing this (it’s not even in pilot yet), but our IP has probably been erroneously targeted as internal.”

The ad shown above is essentially an exact duplicate of the one that currently shows to all users on a search for “honda,” but with the company logo showing in between the ad’s headline and the URL.

If this is something Microsoft is planning to roll out into Live Search, they’ll be joining an already existing trend toward branded and graphical search ads. Earlier this week, we wrote about an expanded Google AdWords favicon test. Last fall, we wrote about thumbnail images showing on AdWords ads in Google Images. And Yahoo recently announced Rich Ads in Search, which places video or images in paid ads.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Microsoft: Bing Ads


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • chiropractic

    I would not even have noticed that, thanks for pointing it out. Just went and searched a bunch of brands to see if any logos popped up, nada.

  • turner.dax

    Good move from Microsoft. Let us wait and see if this is just for the top brands. Anyways, nice to see this update from them.

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