One of the highlights of Windows 8.1 is the new “smart search” feature, which pulls together results from Bing’s search engine, Wikipedia, documents on your desktop and from apps that allow Windows 8.1 to index content inside of them. Today, Microsoft announced that it will monetize this feature through Bing Ads for web-based search results. With this, advertisers will be able to set up a single campaign that reaches users on Bing, Yahoo and Windows Search.
Advertisers who are already using the Yahoo! Bing Network will be automatically included in this program.
As Microsoft’s GM for its Advertising Search group David Pann describes it in today’s statement, “Bing Ads will be an integral part of this new Windows 8.1 Smart Search experience.” The ads will, for the most part, look similar to the standard Windows 8.1 Smart Search results, with web previews, site links, location and call extensions. They will have a different background to highlight that they are indeed ads, though, and not organic search results.
Pann also stressed that the company’s “goal is to make search advertising easier for our customers, while providing the best consumer experience with the most relevant results for the tasks they are looking to accomplish.”
According to the latest data, Bing Ads is slowly but surely growing and in the last quarter, Bing spend was up 3.6 percent year-over-year and now own about 21 percent of the paid search market. It still can’t compete with Google, which owns virtually all of the remaining 79 percent of the market. Integration in Windows 8.1, however, should give it significantly more opportunities to get its ads in front of more users and, in the process, attract more advertisers.