July 25, 2009

Bing Users Are 55 Percent More Likely to Click on Ads

Microsoft's new search engine Bing has been a relative success for the company, if not in user numbers, which may have risen slightly in the past month, though sources are often contradictory, then by the large amount of mostly positive press it has been getting almost two months since it was launched. And now there seems to be another reason why Microsoft execs should be patting themselves on the back as data from search-advertising network Chitika shows that Bing users are 55 percent more likely to
click on an ad in a site they are visiting, compared to Google users.

“We at Chitika are quite fond of search engines: since all of our ads serve only to search traffic, they’re our bread and butter in the online world. So with Microsoft’s new Bing decision engine making so much noise, we thought we’d take a closer look at the clickthrough rates of visitors from the three major search players: Yahoo!, Google, and Bing,” Dan Ruby, director of marketing at Chitika, said about the reasoning behind the study.

The study looked at ads on 50,000 sites in Chitika's network, which generated 32 million impressions in a week this month. The findings show that users who landed on the sites coming from a Bing search were more likely to click on an ad, with clickthrough rates of 1.5 percent. Meanwhile, only 1.24 percent of those coming from Yahoo's search engine clicked on ads on the sites, with Google users coming dead last following on ads only in 0.97 percent of the cases.

While the data is interesting in itself, does it really say anything about the ad market or Bing for that matter? One could assume that the fact that Bing users are more likely to click on ads is a characteristic of the whole group and not just an unrelated coincidence. One could even speculate, like TechCrunch does, that they are using Bing in the first place because they are more susceptible to ads, as Microsoft has been pouring tens of millions in an ad campaign for the search engine. Still it may not have anything to do with the product itself but rather with the fact that it has such a small audience.



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