Researcher: Conduit Toolbar Deal Boosting Bing’s Paid Clicks By 10%

Bing’s traffic acquisition deal with Conduit, the toolbar company that claims to work with 260,000 publishers and 200 million users, appears to be paying off, according to analysis from Rimm Kaufman Group (RKG).

Senior research analyst Mark Ballard looked at traffic from Conduit to Rimm Kaufman Group clients from before the toolbar company switched to Bing from Google at the beginning of 2011. Toward the end of 2010, when Conduit was still with Google, Ballard writes, Conduit sent RKG clients paid search click traffic that was equivalent to 10 to 11% of total Bing.com paid search traffic. Currently, using referrer data, Ballard sees around 5% of Bing’s paid search traffic coming from Conduit, and he estimates an additional 5-6% likely comes from additional searches after people are delivered to Bing.com.

The Conduit-driven traffic was credited for boosted the Search Alliance’s traffic beginning in January, but RKG’s analysis shows it shouldn’t get all the credit. Traffic on the Search Alliance was a little higher, all the same, though paid search traffic on Bing.com was fairly flat outside of Conduit.

As a search marketing agency, Rimm Kaufman’s Ballard raises the question of whether Conduit driving such a great percentage of traffic on Bing is good for marketers, since it can’t be excluded.

“When it was a Google partner, Conduit provided traffic that was worth about 2/3 as much to advertisers as traffic on the core Google.com domain,” said Ballard. “That’s a level at which some may choose to exclude it in order to drive more traffic at the same ROI from the core domain and the better performing partners.”

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Microsoft: Bing | Microsoft: Bing Ads | Microsoft: Partnerships | Stats: General | Top News

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About The Author: is Executive Features Editor at Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. She’s a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since 1998.

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  • cgrantski

    We’d be happy with 2/3 as much performance from Google Search Partners compared to Google alone. For us, it’s 1/2 as much — and the clicks on Search Partners are just about exactly the same cost. If clicks were cheaper, we wouldn’t have an issue with it. We increase our ROI a lot when we exclude Google Search Partners from our PPC program.

    The same thing (low performance) probably happens with these MSN partners. MSN needs to offer a “pure Bing” and a “Bing Search Partners” differention like Google does, with the Search Partners optional.

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