Microsoft's Bing Content Network has been on a downhill trend for a while. In 2015, it backed out of all non-US markets, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the US is next.
For those unfamiliar, Content Network and Content ads display advertisements based on app the user is viewing. It uses keyword targeting to match promotions with words featured in the application.
However, low traffic has lead to the Redmond giant's decision to depreciate the system on June 30th. That doesn't mean ads will be gone entirely, though.
Search Ad Groups
After the cut-off date, developers Content Network ad groups will be replaced with Microsoft's search ad groups. As mentioned earlier, Content ads target promotions depending on the app's keywords.
Search Ads, on the other hand, use the customer's previous search queries to match keywords. Not only is this often more accurate, it also lets developers choose their distribution.
With keyword bidding, devs can target ads either to all sites in Microsoft's search network, just Bing, just Yahoo-owned sites, or any other variation.
Thankfully, there is a little while to make the transition. Microsoft says the following functionality will remain before July 30th:
- “Bing Ads UI: Content ads creation as an option in the Bing Ads UI. After July 30th, we will stop the ability to create ad groups with a content distribution or update ad groups' content distribution based information. In addition, customers will not see the content distribution option when creating or editing ad groups.
- Bing Ads Editor: When syncing account changes, customers can try to create a search + content ad group, but it will be saved as a search ad group. If customers try to create a content only ad group or update content ads distribution information, an error will be shown. In later BAE versions, the option to make these changes will be removed completely.
- API: When trying to add a new search + content ad group, it will save it as a search ad group. If you try to add a content ad group an error will be shown. If you try to update content ads based information an error will be shown.
- Google Import: If you import a Search and Display campaign from AdWords, the ad group distribution will be changed to Search in Bing Ads. If you try to import a Display campaign from Adwords, it will not be imported, since Bing Ads does not have Display Advertising.”
As soon as July 31st rolls around, Bing will start to automatically switch customers to the system. Those that only use content ads will have those switched to search ads and paused.