Bing Ads is testing a new feature in ads that appear above the Bing search results, displaying related categories for the ad. These are officially called “Smart Annotations”.
The category listings appear between the single line of ad text and the site links. The categories cannot be clicked on, and seem to be there for reference purposes only. They are only available in the US at this time with select advertisers, currently on desktop but expanding to tablet and mobile at a later date.
They seem to be having an impact, as Bing Ads advertisers are seeing a 15% lift in clickthrough rates in ads that display these Smart Annotations compared to those without.
Bing’s Smart Annotations are not just limited to categories, but can also show up for specific product features or brands carried. Here is an example of categories:
With these flight related categories, but you can see from the screenshot that they don’t seem to be set up with the same categories. One says “flights” while the other says “air” for categories. Likewise, one ad shows plurals of the categories while the other ad shows the singular of the keywords.
Bing Ads matches these Smart Annotations by scanning the ad’s landing page to see if it contains keywords of applicable product categories features and landing page titles that match what the user’s search terms are. If there is a match, Bing might pull some of these to show within the ad, and are displayed based on the order the names, products or keywords are found on the landing page itself.
They also appear in the right sidebar of the search results, which is unusual for many annotations with both Bing and AdWords.
Smart Annotations are similar to AdWords Smart Annotations.
There seems to be a limited number of advertisers with smart annotations enabled at this time, as I couldn’t get it to appear for many search terms, and a reload of the same search term didn’t always display the ads. If you are interested, be sure to hit up your Bing Ads reps, especially with that nice 15% lift they are reporting.
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