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Bing is Set to End Manual Bidding Before Google. Here’s What to Expect

by Kaitlyn Boehm , Client Services Analyst, Similarweb 3 Min.
March 31, 2021 | Updated August 30, 2022

Bing is going against the grain. The search engine announced another update – ahead of Google.

While marketers may be accustomed to search giant Google making changes first, and other ad platforms following, things are changing. This change is one of the many updates Microsoft has made to Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads) in the last couple of years to differentiate itself.

By April 30, you’ll see the retirement of the traditional manual bidding strategy on Microsoft Ads. If you track ad analytics, this post will help you prepare for the change: 

Retiring the manual bidding strategy 

Microsoft Ads announced the end of the traditional manual cost-per-click (CPC) bidding strategy which allows marketers to set their own maximum bids. Advertisers will still have control over their bid limits, with another manual-type strategy called enhanced manual cost-per-click (eCPC). This strategy, which could be considered a blend of manual and automated bidding, allows users to still set a bid limit but gives Microsoft enough power to increase the bids if they consider the potential click to have higher quality. 

This change, which Microsoft says can help, “elevate your bidding practice,” optimizes bids directly at auction time to help stay more dynamic with paid campaigns and work smarter – not harder. However, enhanced CPC bidding is not a new strategy in the world of paid marketing. It is a common strategy to help boost a campaign utilizing slight automation while retaining control over the amount spent per keyword. This is especially helpful for newer campaigns where time, location, or other demographic bid adjustments aren’t established yet. What marketers fear the most about the end of manual bidding: the loss of campaign control. The question is will other changes follow that cut back on hands-on strategies? 

Google has recently made changes that point to more automated campaign management.  With the recent changes in keyword match types and silent retirement of the Target CPA and Target ROAS strategies, Google seems to be heading in that direction but hasn’t pulled the trigger just yet. Marketers in the meantime can begin testing automated and manual hybrid strategies with Microsoft and prepare for a future with fewer manual options. 

How this will affect the auto-import  

Microsoft has announced that by April 5, manual CPC bidding will not be an option on new campaigns, and existing campaigns will be migrated to eCPC bidding by April 30. With this change approaching fast, certain precautions need to be taken to ensure the migration happens successfully.

Bids and budgets setting within the Google Ads auto-import

Bids and budgets setting within the Google Ads auto-import

If you are utilizing the auto-import functionality that allows the recurring campaign import from Google Ads to Microsoft, you’re in luck. There is an area in your import setting which you can select if you don’t want to have the bidding strategies updated from Google. This allows you complete control over your strategies directly in Microsoft. This setting allows flexibility for your campaigns as you test out new options, without having to pause the import in the meantime. 

5 ways to prepare for the update

5 tips to prepare for Bing update

1. Review your auto import. If you employ the auto-import feature and import campaigns with a manual strategy from Google Ads, consider changing the bid settings to allow for you to manage bidding strategies per campaign separate from Google bidding strategy settings. 

2. Review your conversion tracking. Although it isn’t a setup requirement in Microsoft Ads for this strategy, review your conversion tracking goals that the platform will leverage to help determine, “quality” clicks. 

3. Opt-in early. Consider opting in early to eCPC bidding on higher-performing campaigns to ensure a smooth transition.

4.Test outbid adjustments. Investigate implementing an ad schedule or location bid adjustments to help assist the slightly automated bidding approach your campaigns will have. 

5. Test our fully automated strategies. If your campaigns have at least 10-15 recorded conversions within the last month, try testing automated bidding strategies that align with your goals. 

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