Bing Ads Introduces Sitelink Extensions. What’s Different?

Kye Mou
October 17, 2012

Last week, Bing Ads announced the release of their extensively piloted Sitelink Extensions. Seemingly identical in functionality to Google’s Sitelink Extensions, this feature is available today via the Bing Ads user interface, Desktop Editor and API. For more information about enabling and managing Bing Ads Sitelink Extensions, click here.

During the pilot phase, advertisers leveraging Bing Ads Sitelink Extensions experienced an average increase in click-through rate (CTR) by 20%, compared to Google’s reported average increase of 30%. In comparing Bing and Google search results, the disparity between reported increases in CTR might be due to the frequency of Google displaying a more favorable sitelinks layout.

Kay Bing Ads Sitelinks Example


Kay Google Sitelinks Example


The most notable difference in sitelinks layout on the above search for “kay” was Google’s use of a two-column format, as opposed to Bing’s single-line format. Though Bing does display sitelinks in a two-column format, it didn’t occur very often in the searches I performed. Also, because of the single-line format, the Bing ad was forced to truncate the sitelinks, leaving out the link for “The Leo Diamond” landing page, which the Google ad does display.

Macys Bing Ads Sitelinks Example


Macys Google Sitelinks Example


Conducting another search, this time for “macys”, shows an even greater disparity in layout. Again, the Bing ad is delivered with sitelinks in the single-line format, but this time with four links. However, this Google ad maintains the two-column format, but expands to show five sitelinks. It’s interesting to note that Google highlights the keyword “Macy’s” in their ad, but Bing does not. Also, Google opts to include an icon along with the “Sale & Clearance” sitelink, most likely drawing more attention and generating more engagement.

What stands out the most between the two sitelink layouts is the amount of real estate Google ads command in the search engine results page (SERP). In both of my examples, the Google ad takes up nearly twice as much space as the Bing ad. It’s my guess that the difference in reported CTR increases has something to do with this; with higher reported CTRs for ads that more frequently command more real estate. Though this is obviously a very small sample size based on my initial observations, I’m interested in seeing if Bing will continue to make tweaks to their sitelinks algorithm to encourage more paid clicks. If you’ve recently implemented Bing Ads Sitelink Extensions, please share your thoughts or findings in the comments section below.

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