New PPC Report: Bing Ads Vs. Google AdWords In 6 US Verticals

AdGooroo has released a new study titled Yahoo! Bing PPC Performance Metrics that analyzes advertiser participation and performance metrics on the Yahoo! Bing network through Bing Ads compared to Google AdWords. The study looked at U.S. advertisers in six verticals during Q312.

Backing up one of the loudest complaints among advertisers about the Yahoo! Bing network, the study found that AdWords out-delivered Bing Ads by serving 7.3 million more ad impressions in the Shopping and Classified category.

A surprise, however, was to see Bing Ads come out ahead in the Financial Services category with an edge of over a million ad impressions. The study authors speculate that this lead is driven by the popularity of financial reporting on the Yahoo! and MSN portals, which direct reader searches to the Yahoo! Bing engine. In fact, AdWords doesn’t have a significant lead in impression serving in the other four verticals either.

New PPC Report

In looking at click through rates (CTRs), AdWords generated anywhere from 2.4 to 5.2 times higher CTRs in each of the six verticals. The study points to a better ad serving system by AdWords s a potential reason for the stronger CTRs. However, another consideration is the level of campaign optimization advertisers put toward their AdWords campaigns versus their Bing Ads campaigns.

New PPC Report

There were pockets of advertisers who did see higher CTRs on Bing Ads:

  • Nearly 10% of the financial services advertisers who ran campaigns on both engines, including Citicards and Fidelity Life, experienced higher CTRs on Yahoo! Bing.
  • Roughly 8% of overlapping travel sector advertisers saw higher CTRs from Bing Ads, including Hilton HHonors, Days Inn and Fun Jet.
  • Even a handful of Shopping and Classified advertisers—JCPenney, QVC, Old Navy, K-Mart and Shutterfly among them—had higher CTRs through Bing Ads.

Advertisers consistently paid fairly substantial premiums on AdWords. The biggest average cost per click discrepancy was in the Computer and Internet vertical, with advertisers paying an average 117% more per click on AdWords than on Bing Ads.

New PPC Report

So how many advertisers are running campaigns on both engines? Of the 39,000 advertisers included in the study who ran paid search campaigns on AdWords, 55% of them also had campaigns on Bing Ads during that time. The greatest level of crossover was in the Shopping and Classified and Financial Services categories, with the other four categories lagging in their use of the Bing Ads platform. That of course means less competition for the advertisers in those verticals who are running campaigns on Bing Ads.

New PPC Report

Nearly one third of U.S. search queries are conducted on Bing or Yahoo! according to the latest comScore numbers. The full report from AdGooroo can be downloaded here.

Correction: The original article stated that AdWords served more than 7.3 ad impressions than Bing Ads in Q3. This has been corrected to reflect that AdWords served more than 7.3 more ad impressions in the Shopping and Classified vertical.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Features: Analysis | Google: AdWords | Microsoft: Bing Ads | Search Marketing | SEM Industry: Stats | Top News | Yahoo


About The Author: writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting. Beyond Search Engine Land, Ginny provides search marketing and demand generation advice for ecommerce companies. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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  • ScottyMack

    The ONLY metric that matters is the one not included in the article – Cost Per Conversion.

  • Gregg Hamilton

    In terms of monitoring the relative return on paid search spend (ROAS) on AdWords and Yahoo!/Bing, you are absolutely correct. Of course, an advertiser’s ROAS is a highly private and confidential KPI (derived from cost per conversion, average revenue per conversion, and operating contribution) to which only the advertiser has visibility. However, if the advertiser is dissatisfied with their Cost Per Conversion, then the KPIs discussed in the article offer insights into how to improve (lower) the Cost dimension of their paid search Cost Per Conversion.

  • Pat Grady

    In looking at juice through rates (JTRs), Oranges generated anywhere from 2.4 to 5.2 times lower JTRs in each of the six verticals. The study points to a better Apple peeling system as a potential reason for the stronger JTRs. However, another consideration is the level of freeze optimization growers put toward their Orange grove campaigns versus their Apple orchard campaigns.

  • Larry Kim

    Thanks for writing this up. I just read the study – in some ways it’s not that surprising. For example it says that adwords has higher CTR’s on average than Bing (not surprising because all the sophisticated targeting features in adwords). I can also believe that CPC is lower on average on Bing, and again, i’m not surprised at that either because of lower advertiser competition. So overall the high level findings make sense but seem a bit unremarkable.

    Where i disagree with the study is that it seems to imply that that Bing has 36-45% fewer advertisers than google. This is not correct. If google has say 2 million active advertisers, it’s implying that Bing/Yahoo have around 1.5M, which is not true (they have far less than that). I think the reason for their over-estimation has to do with their sampling methods. meaning – the ad scraping stuff has a tendency to find large advertisers, and large advertisers are more likely to be doing both Bing and Google than smaller ones.

  • robthespy

    bing PPC is nightmare to manage but the CPC’s and CPA’s are lower than Google’s. In most cases, the conversion rate is much higher as well.

    Unfortunately, the volume just doesn’t compare to Big G’s.

  • Derek Abbring

    Maybe you or someone out there can help me out with this. Perhaps tell me how I can make any $$ with any of these “pay for visitor” models when a click costs me on average $2.75 – $5 with the profit on the product ranging from $6-$16? It’s impossible to have the conversion rate needed for any pay per click model to make fiscal sense. Even with a crazy 30% conversion rate, based on 1,000 visitors, I’d still be way in the black. Thoughts?

  • Michal Smetana

    Wow, I have never seen such a comparison of these sites (I’m not using Bing Ads at all) and it’s really incredible that they have really significantly lower click-through rates than AdWords. Another reason why to stick with Google. Thanks for sharing this comparison with us, Ginny.

  • Justin Sous

    I agree with all of the above, Larry. One more flaw in the case study I’d like to point out is the account setups of the Google vs Bing accounts may not be an apples-apples comparison. Meaning, advertisers on Google may not be using broad match to limit the number of irrelevant queries, while advertisers on Bing may be using broad match in order to get as much traffic as possible. This would increase the number of impressions in the Bing account and close the gap. I’ve found a much larger discrepancy in impressions than what is described above.

  • Insurin Us

    Well here at we use Google Adwords and we love it. We are getting ready to try Reddit and Stumbleupon, wish us luck. Good luck to all people!

  • Randy Kaiser

    Bing has never equaled adwords in reach or performance, so I only use Bing when adwords begins to manipulate the pricing on my campaigns. I better analysis would be how Adwords and Facebook ads each perform in these sectors.

  • Vikas Paul

    Adwords is something that is much hyped and that is one of the reason for it’s supremacy.

  • Vikas Paul


  • ScottyMack

    I guess my point is, with CPC advertising, the click-through rate is unimportant, since it costs you nothing unless they click. The only thing that matters is what happens AFTER they click. I’d much rather have a 4% CTR where 2% of them buy than 7% CTR where only 2% of them make a purchase. I guess it depends on your profit per sale, though. I imagine those selling actual products will agree with me and those selling downloadable courses or subscription services won’t (the real cost is very close to zero for those things).

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