Microsoft Bing is updating its shopping features to include details about active coupons or promotions directly in the search engine. 

With these new annotations, Bing hopes to make it easier for consumers to feel confident that they are getting the best price on a product without installing third-party extensions or other tools.

As the company explains in a blog post:

“Ever wondered if you were overlooking coupons or special promotions when you shop online? Or perhaps you didn’t even consider that a discount might be available, and you missed out! Bing now provides you with this information within shopping searches – annotations neatly nested within your search results, without the need to install a browser extension or plugin (third-party cookies must be enabled.)”

As the screenshot below shows, the coupon annotation is a  small icon listing how many promotions are available which can be expanded to learn about the specific offers. If you click on Copy & go, the coupon will automatically apply during checkout. 

“Let’s say you are shopping for a new outfit for a girls’ night on the town. Or maybe you are just window shopping for some back-to-the-office fashions. A search for the Eileen Fisher website on Bing reveals that some coupons are available, even before you click to enter the site. No need to do a separate search for a code.”

The company announced this update as part of a series of changes to annotations including bringing the “ethical choice” annotations for eco-friendly or fair trade  products to more regions:

“Powered by the ethical fashion app Good On You®, the Ethical choice ratings are based on a brand’s impact on three areas: people, planet, and animals. For more information click on any Ethical choice annotation found within your search results”

Microsoft Ads is launching a new feature that allows advertisers to dynamically tailor their ad messages to viewers called Dynamic Descriptions for Dynamic Search Ads.

The feature expands on the already introduced ability to deliver targeted headlines in Dynamic Search Ads, making it possible to serve ads that are hyper-targeted for a person’s interests and immediate intent.

What Are Dynamic Descriptions?

The idea behind Dynamic Descriptions is to use automation to both speed-up managing complicated ad campaigns and improve relevancy for users. 

It does this by using Microsoft Advertising’s Artificial Intelligence to generate a variety of ad descriptions which are continuously iterated upon and refined to consistently provide the best messages for every single person who sees your ads.

Microsoft has made the feature available starting today to advertisers who wish to try it out. Starting in April, the feature will become the default for Dynamic Search Ads unless advertisers choose to opt out. You will be alerted closer to April if this change will impact your ads via an email with instructions on how to opt out.

Who is Eligible To Use Dynamic Descriptions?

Currently, Dynamic Descriptions are available to advertisers in five markets:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Germany

However, the feature is not available to those in sensitive or adult markets, such as Pharmaceuticals, Financial Services, etc.

Microsoft Advertising announced this week that it will soon start including broad match ad targeting for campaigns using phrase matching. 

The change will occur “mid-May” and is aimed to “simplify keywords and improve your relevancy when reaching customers,” according to the announcement. 

Notably, this means the ad service is keeping in line with Google Ads, who made a similar change in February. 

“So… What Does This Mean For My Ads?”

Essentially, this update means that your ads which are being matched with queries for phrases matching your targeted keyword will also be shown for searches related to the meaning of your keyword. 

For example, Microsoft Advertising says the new system would match a search for “winter vacation in Miami” to the targeted keyword “Miami vacation.”
The company also says it will respect the word order of your keyword “when it’s important – for example, it won’t match ‘milk chocolate’ to the keyword ‘chocolate milk.”

Broad Match Modified Keywords To No Longer Be Offered

With this adjustment, Microsoft Advertising says it will be removing the option to create new broad match modified keywords beginning in August of this year. Existing broad match modified keywords will be treated the same as phrase match keywords. 

With this in mind, there is no need to change over your existing campaigns or keywords.

Planning For This Change

While there is no action for you to take immediately, there are a few things to keep in mind as the update rolls out. 

With the more broad matching included in phrase match campaigns, it will be important to monitor what searches are connecting with your keywords. This more broad approach could lead to potentially irrelevant queries showing your ads. 

On the upside, this change means it should be easier for advertisers to manage their campaigns, especially if they are advertising on both Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising.

Google’s latest search algorithm update made some significant changes to how local search results are compiled and processed, according to a recent statement from the company.

Though the rollout of the update began in early November, Google only this week explained that it has begun integrating neural matching into its local search algorithm.

As for what neural matching actually is, Google referred people to a tweet from earlier this year which called the process “a super synonym system.”

In more detail, neural matching uses AI to better understand the meaning and intent behind search terms, allowing relevant results to be included even when they do not include a specific keyword in the original query.

“The use of neural matching means that Google can do a better job going beyond the exact words in business name or description to understand conceptually how it might be related to the words searchers use and their intents.”

To put it in plain English, this allows your site or local business listing to be included for relevant searches where you previously may not have been included.

As of yet it is hard to tell exactly what impact this will have on local search results. Despite rolling out globally last month, it may take some time for the true impact to become apparent.

Bing has announced that its search engine crawler, Bingbot, will be going evergreen over the next few months by adopting the Chromium-based Edge browser to render webpages.

Essentially, this means it will be able to crawl, render, and properly index more of your content more closely to how to actual users see it. 

As Bing says in its announcement:

By adopting Microsoft Edge, Bingbot will now render all web pages using the same underlying web platform technology already used today by Googlebot, Google Chrome, and other Chromium-based browsers. This will make it easy for developers to ensure their web sites and their Content Management System work across all these solutions without having to spend time investigating each solution in depth.

The additional upside is that this mirrors steps recently taken by Google, which suggests it may become easier to optimize for both search engines without specific steps for each platform.

Source: CourseEnvy

No matter how good your marketing or advertisements are, you can’t succeed online without a great landing page. Whether you’re landing page is irrelevant to people’s interests or it is just too slow or cumbersome for mobile users, your potential customers are going to bounce back to the search results if they can’t get to what they need quickly.

Of course, no one intentionally sets up a bad landing page. Sometimes, you just can’t see what’s not working without an extra set of eyes to show you the problems you’ve overlooked. Thankfully, Google is helping give you exactly that, with a new Landing Pages tool designed to identify why specific landing pages need improvements.

The Landing Pages tool, which was announced earlier this year, is rolling out for advertisers over the next few weeks.

With this tool, you can quickly assess your landing pages based on the amount of engagement (clicks) each URL receives, as well as the “Mobile-Friendly Click Rate” (MFCR). The MFCR is a measure of the percent of mobile clicks coming to your landing page from smartphones or other mobile devices.

The new report allows you to identify exactly which landing pages need work. For example, pages that are not optimized for mobile but that receive a high MFCR should likely be improved and optimized to prevent high bounce rates.

Once it is completely rolled out, the Landing Pages tool will be able to provide data on landing pages for search, display, and video campaigns. However, currently, the MFCR data is only available for search campaigns.

untitled-design-27-700x400

Bing has unveiled the top marketing keywords searched for throughout last year, based on their US search data. The new reveal sheds light on what people are thinking of and what the biggest upcoming trends are, with personal assistants beating out the competition.

”Personal assistants and artificial intelligence were a clear priority for marketers over the past year. Advances in chat bots and virtual assistants, such as Alexa, Cortana and Amazon Echo – as well as updates to several smartphone chat bots, were likely drivers for these search terms.”

Of course, Microsoft owns both Cortana and Bing, so it is possible that played a role in the high rank of personal assistants on the list. Still, the popularity of other services such as Siri and Alexa shows that virtual assistants are quickly becoming a major part of the tech and marketing landscape.

In addition to personal assistants, Bing says augmented reality and virtual reality are also poised to play a big role in marketing.

”Virtual and augmented reality came second to intelligence, with the popularity of searches representing the growth of this technology throughout 2016 – and it’s likely continual development into next year.”

Check out the rest of the top marketing search terms for 2016 below:

  1. Personal Assistants/ Intelligent Agents
  2. Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
  3. Search Marketing
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. Email Marketing

Year in Search

Google has finally released its annual year in search list, breaking down the biggest stories and searches of the past year. As usual, it is broken down into several categories and countries, making it easy to see what was trending in 2016 in your area or around the world.

Google’s Top 10 Worldwide searches of 2016:

  1. Pokémon Go
  2. iPhone 7
  3. Donald Trump
  4. Prince
  5. Powerball
  6. David Bowie
  7. Deadpool
  8. Olympics
  9. Slither.io
  10. Suicide Squad

The top searches for the US are almost identical, except for a few changes. “Powerball” bounces up to the top slot, because it can only be played in America. Meanwhile, “iPhone” slides entirely off the list.

Google’s Top 10 US Searches of 2016:

  1. Powerball
  2. Prince
  3. Hurricane Matthew
  4. Pokemon Go
  5. Slither.io
  6. Olympics
  7. David Bowie
  8. Trump
  9. Election
  10. Hillary Clinton

While the iPhone 7 didn’t make the top US searches, it does lead the worldwide top tech searches of the past year. Apple also dominates 3 of the top 4 searches for consumer technology. Considering its recent reveal, it is also somewhat surprising to see the Nintendo Switch also makes the list at number 9.

Google’s Top 10 Consumer Tech Searches Worldwide:

  1. iPhone 7
  2. Freedom 251
  3. iPhone SE
  4. iPhone 6S
  5. Google Pixel
  6. Samsung Galaxy S7
  7. iPhone 7 Plus
  8. Note 7
  9. Nintendo Switch
  10. Samsung J7

Of course, there are plenty more interesting categories in Google’s Year in Search 2016 to look through including beers, fashion designers, GIFs and much more. Check out the lists for yourself.

Bing is launching a new feature specifically for local businesses to make it easier for customers to reach you at any time. With the new chat feature, users can click a link to “chat online with a representative” directly from the search engine.

After clicking the link, you are immediately connected to the business through their primary chat program. That could be a native chat service or other options like Facebook Messenger.

You can see what it looks below:

bingchat

In this case, Bing links to Facebook Messenger:

bing-kp-chat-online-messenger

The new feature makes it easier than ever for searchers to contact your business for questions and concerns. It also makes it more important than ever to make sure your business is taking advantage of online chat services to provide customer service.

They say word-of-mouth is the best advertising a business can have. The same could also be said for the online version of this: user reviews. There are few better ways your company can earn the trust of potential customers than showing how much other customers have enjoyed your services or products.

Now, Google is giving an even bigger platform to user-generated business reviews by adding “Reviews from the web” to its Knowledge Panels that appear in search results. This comes a month after Google started including best-of lists and critic reviews in results for local search.

local-reviews-google

Source: Google

Consumer reviews will appear in the Knowledge Panel exactly as critic reviews do, but they will be more visible on mobile where they appear before both critic reviews and best-of-lists. You can see how they will appear in the screenshots above and below:

localsearch-1

Source: Google

If you want to feature user-generated reviews from your site or another prominent review site, you need to mark up your content with Google’s review Schema. You must also abide by Google’s guidelines for inclusion.

Including the new “Reviews from the web” section, Google’s Knowledge Boxes are now prominently displaying three review sources. It will still be collecting and highlighting its own reviews, making it more important than ever for businesses to have a strategy to collect reviews from customers across a wide range of platforms.

Thanks to the increased profile of user reviews, it has never been easier for your customers to spread the word about your business to thousands of potential customers every day.