Jun 102009

Bing: A Closer Look at the Numbers

Accurate numbers can nevertheless be misleading.

One of our Senior Analysts pointed out to me that the Bing Launch numbers look quite a bit different if a couple of factors are taken out of consideration. Eliminating data from trademark searches for our clients' brands for some reason paints a substantially different picture. Thankfully, I was able to re-run the numbers before speaking with the Wall Street Journal!

Here are the more carefully calculated numbers:

Clearly, the big motion from the pre-launch week beginning 5/25/09 to the first week post launch beginning 6/1/09 was in the share of impressions. MSN's share of impressions among the big three (excluding content ads) moved from 3.1% to 3.7%, a 22% increase. Lots of folks checking out the new kid on the block, not many actually clicking on the ads. The slight upticks in conversion rates and AOV may be a function of better targeting, or stealing quality traffic, or it may just be statistical noise.

Who's losing share of impressions to them? Yahoo indeed:

Pretty clearly, the industry junkies and others swayed by the media buzz are giving Bing a look. To succeed, Bing will need to do more than generate impressions. Bing needs to capture dedicated users and become the engine of choice for serious shoppers. That will take time, money for buzz creation, and ultimately a truly better search experience. Microsoft has the first two, but we'll see what conclusion users draw about the last.


5 Responses to "Bing: A Closer Look at the Numbers"
Bob says:
Great analysis. This shows that the masses wanted to see what Bing was all about but were not using to reach any particular destination. It will be very interesting to see if this turns into a blip on the radar screen or whether it actually changes user habits. For MSN, this could be the most costly PPC campaign in history. I wonder what the effective CPC will turn out to be for their $100 million ad campaign.
Thanks, Bob. Certainly Barry Diller didn't have any success convincing folks to use Ask, despite his own deep pockets. Hard pressed to see this working for MSN. Ultimately it has to be easier for users to find what they're looking for on Bing than it is on Google for folks to make the switch and stay. It's a high bar.
Vivek says:
George, really enjoying reading about the analysis you guys do. Was wondering if you have an update on this given a couple more weeks have passed? Maybe something through this week or last week?
Hi Vivek, Haven't had time to put together a full update, but I did take a look at the numbers. No material gains in market share for Bing that I see. Impressions are flaky concepts, but assuming distribution networks haven't changed, and the engines haven't played with the "broad match" nobs in the last 6 weeks, it looks like the impression-share increase of Bing lasted about two weeks, and they're now back to where they were. And, while there is burble in the data, it looks like the engine gaining share from Yahoo is...Google...


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[...] A follow up post, eliminating trademark search and controlling for a couple other factors paints a very different picture. [...]

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