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Going against Google: Microsoft and Yahoo rebrand Alliance

Microsoft rebranded its search alliance with Yahoo, formed in 2010, as the Yahoo Bing Network in an attempt to ease the ad buying experience and to underscore—both to advertisers and to competitors like Google—the two companies’ presence as major providers of search advertising.

Formerly referred to as the Yahoo and Microsoft Search Alliance, the terms of the partnership had Yahoo licensing Microsoft’s search technology in lieu of its own proprietary solutions. The Microsoft solutions Yahoo agreed to use include Microsoft adCenter, a pay-per-click (PPC) ad selling service—now rebranded as Bing Ads—as well as the Bing search engine.

“Customer feedback told us that the process of buying ads on adCenter at times was confusing, with different brand experiences and looks,” says David Pann, general manager of the Search Network at Microsoft Advertising. “We made this rebrand to streamline the process of purchasing ads on Bing simpler and easier to use. Now the experience is much more intuitive for search advertisers looking to connect to an audience that is unique, engaged and has a higher propensity to spend.”

On average, Bing searchers tend to spend more than Google searchers. According to comScore Core Search’s June 2012 findings, the 151 million U.S. unique searchers spend 5.4% more than U.S. Google searchers.

“I think the message of Microsoft’s and Yahoo’s rebranding effort around Bing is pretty clear,” says Karsten Weide, IDC program VP for digital media and entertainment. “It tells the marketplace and it tells Google: ‘We’re more focused and we’re more dedicated than ever to selling search advertising. If you think we’re out, think again.’”

As part of the rebranding, Yahoo and Microsoft launched new websites, Twitter accounts, and Facebook pages for the Yahoo Bing Network and Bing Ads. Additionally, Pann notes, the companies have started a Bing Ads blog.

Microsoft also updated Bing Ads with enhancements designed to monitor campaign performance, ad delivery and keyword effectiveness, more detailed reports, and performance tracking.

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