Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery... It's no secret that Microsoft adCenter has made a number of changes over the last year or two that have brought its search ad product closer in line with "industry standard", i.e. Google AdWords.
While many of these changes have been technical, behind-the-scenes tweaks to make their product easier to use for advertisers already comfortable working with AdWords, there have been some that were more noticeable to the average consumer, including seller reviews in ads and a new take on Rich Ads that includes sitelink formatting similar to Google's.
Now it appears that adCenter is testing a more significant change, with their version of Google's Product Listing Ads. We spotted a few of these new ads in the wild on some Bing SERPs yesterday. Here's one example:
Given the success that Google has had with the PLA format, this is hardly a surprise to see. In Q2, about 15% of RKG clients' non-brand Google paid search clicks were generated by PLAs, and, to date, the ROI has been higher than that for comparable text ads.
With Bing and Yahoo struggling to generate click volume growth for their ads, this move should provide a much needed shot in the arm. Better yet, it should also benefit advertisers, unlike some adCenter algorithmic changes of late that seem to have only served to drive up CPCs. Kudos to the adCenter team on this one.
Hat tip to RKG Director of PPC Testing & Analytics Mia Brennan for the screenshot above.