Home Money As Google turns to advertisers, it could learn a lot from Bing

As Google turns to advertisers, it could learn a lot from Bing

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As Google turns to advertisers, it could learn a lot from Bing

Ad disclosure has also been an issue on Copilot. Although Microsoft says it labels all ads, Marcus Pratt, senior vice president of insights and technology at ad buying agency Mediasmith, says he has found at least two searches in which links with indications that they are sponsored may not have been adequately revealed.

Last week, Pratt searched for the best reels to wind up and store his garden hose. Copilot recommended eight options, all apparently drawn from an article from the review publication Spruce, which links to Amazon product listings and receives a commission when readers make a purchase. Clicking on the reels in Copilot ended up at giraffetools.com, with a code in the URL suggesting it had been a sponsored link. But an “Ad” label is only visible if a user hovers over the link for a moment before clicking. Spruce and Giraffe Tools did not respond to requests for comment.

In the other search, Copilot recommended a Nike Pegasus running shoe, but when you hovered over the name, Microsoft showed a link to the On sneaker brand with a small “Ad” tag in the corner. A link to a women’s health article There are more details on the Nike pair below the ad. Pratt calls it a potentially unsatisfying experience for brands and confusing for consumers. “This combination of organic recommendations and sponsored listings is blurring the lines more than I’ve seen in the past,” he says. Nike, On and Women’s Health did not respond to requests for comment.

Microsoft’s Sainsbury-Carter says advertising experiences may vary as Microsoft continues to test and apply feedback.

Despite optimism among investors about the tech giants’ ability to smooth out the rough edges and keep sales flowing, blending AI-generated content into search is the industry’s biggest shift since the advent of smartphones. Google is trying to quickly satisfy people’s curiosity by using AI Overviews’ generative AI to summarize the web, which users have criticized for embarrassing mistakes like suggesting they squeeze glue on pizza.

Microsoft not only publishes similar AI roundups, but also allows users to explore topics by chatting with Copilot, Bing’s AI chatbot. Although Google has tested ads in a precursor to AI Overviews, Microsoft is miles ahead, showing more ads and revealing more about their performance.

In a webinar for select ad agencies seen by WIRED last week, Microsoft’s Murray said that users click on ads in Copilot at almost twice the rate of equivalent ads when they are displayed as the first ad above the ads. traditional search results, which is historically the most clicked ad. They also narrowly prefer a Copilot experience with ads rather than without them.

Sainsbury-Carter tells you the data means users find Copilot’s ads more comprehensive than vulgar. She adds that clicks on media ads, specifically, were three times higher on Copilot than elsewhere on Bing between last July and last January. The company declined to share specific figures, but described the measure as statistically significant.

Opted by AI

Advertisers don’t have many options when it comes to investing in AI search. Microsoft and Google are leveraging customers’ existing ad campaigns for other environments to fill ad slots in Copilot and Overviews until more data is collected on their effectiveness. That means Copilot can leverage advertisers’ content to display ads as simple text, a row of product images, sponsored links embedded in an AI summary, or multimedia widgets for booking trips or deciding which car to buy.

“We’re still at a place where we don’t feel like asking advertisers to adopt, launch, manage and optimize a completely new type of campaign,” says Microsoft’s Sainsbury-Carter. “Certainly, that could happen over time if it appears to really be bifurcating and the differences are large enough.”

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