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The Bing-Yahoo Alliance: What does it mean for CPCs?


By Dave Beltramini, Director of Paid Advertising bingyahoo

The ability to see measureable trends and results is what makes Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising so exciting. Unlike the more traditional, less measureable methods (print, TV, outdoor, etc), SEM and PPC give us invaluable information about our leads, their online behavior, and the effectiveness of our campaigns.

At the moment, there are two new developments that have caused some commotion in the SEM and PPC worlds: Google Instant and the Bing/Yahoo search alliance.

When Google Instant was released, some panicked. Is the SEO world coming to an end? Are "long tail” keywords being lopped off to the detriment of PPC campaigns? No, the SEO apocalypse has not arrived yet.

New concerns are now being raised about the Bing and Yahoo alliance, since the search results of both engines are powered by the Bing algorithm. Some voices warn that this will result in a much higher Cost-per-Click (CPC). (CPC is the amount an advertiser is charged per click on an ad on the respective search engine.)

I want to point to a MediaPost article by Roger Barnette that addresses this topic very well. I think it is noteworthy for two reasons: First, he points out important numbers that should dispel the fear that CPCs will spiral out of control. Second, he reminds us that the proper thing to do is to monitor, manage and optimize your accounts – which is exactly what we do every day here at G5. Because PPC is something that can be changed quickly, there is no need to speculate to any great degree. Time will tell what will happen. That is when it's most important to be thorough and examine the data.

The change to Bing’s algorithm will start to roll out next week. We will be watching, analyzing and acting - but hopefully, not rushing to judgment before the data is clear.