Microsoft Fusing Ads to Bing Search Engine
Over the last few months, Microsoft has been fusing generative AI features into its products, including its long-standing (unsuccessful) Bing search engine. Now, it is working on adding ads to this fast-moving technology.
In a blog post, the company said it is exploring ad placements in the chat experience. It will share the revenues with its partners whose content contributed to the chat response. It is also looking for ways to let Bing Chat show sources. It works like how conventional search engines display a source link.
“First, we want to drive more traffic to publishers in this new world of search. It is a top goal for us, and we measure success in part by how much traffic we are sending from the new Bing/Edge. Second, we want to increase revenue to publishers. We seek to do this by both driving more traffic to them through new features like chat and answers and by also pioneering the future of advertising in these new mediums as I will describe below.”
No Clear Rules
There are no clear guidelines on how these ads will be placed.
Advertisers spend millions to billions on sponsored links, search engines, and keyword ads. Ad spending is high on mobile. Marketers from the US and China focused on mobile platforms.
For many, the ad injection was a bit fast for Microsoft. However, other people pointed out that they have been there since Bing Chat was introduced. But not all people saw them because they were not enabled for every user.
Search engines can bring money to these companies. They are a part of their business models. Thus, they need some kind of monetization. However, people are now questioning how we are going to start fresh from those sponsored results. People expect something better than getting sponsored answers.
However, unlike the regular search engine results, the Bing chat result is not clear on what is sponsored. You can’t tell whether or not the company is paying for placement on searches or the chat just referenced its site.
There is nothing wicked going on here. However, the user must understand what is being advertised. In the past, we have learned how to distinguish ads from non-sponsored links.
But in today’s Bing chat, there is no way to tell whether or not it is an ad. People might want to see citations that the answer is sponsored.
Unfortunately, the ad-blocking tools cannot block these ads yet. It does not mean that they cannot be blocked at all. However, how ads are presented in a predictable way is clearly ending.
People hate ads. They help the web live. However, people do want to see ads infrequently.
Users may wonder whether the chatbot was compensated to say what it said. They wonder how honest these companies are when it comes to their deals.
Soon, chatbots will make a huge portion of their revenue from ads. They allow them to continue to provide search services for free to users. These ads are beneficial to advertisers, as they let them target specific audiences and drive traffic to their websites.