Jun
1
2012

Bing Showing Insurance Ads For Link Building Searches?

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While attempting to test out the new social Bing, I did a search for link building, and was surprised to see 3 ads for insurance amongst the PPC results:

My first thought, was how in the world is that happening? (After further thought, I’m still wondering how in the world this happens.) I tried some other searches, then came back and searched for link building again – I got more insurance ads.

My partner Zach (who is in a different location) isn’t seeing the ads. I tried on another computer in my office and saw the link building ads. (Incidentally, on my main computer I don’t see the new social bar even though I’m signed in and connected to Facebook. The other computer in my office does show the sidebar.)

My theories for what might be happening:

  1. Advertiser error. Maybe these advertisers are targeting a broad match keyword they shouldn’t be. Seems rather unlikely, though.
  2. Bing error. Some glitch somewhere in Bing’s ad serving algorithm.
  3. Bing is testing something. Maybe Bing is testing retargeted ads, or ads targeted via some method other than the keyword search? Seems like a pretty bad idea, though.
  4. Geo-targeting. It’s worth noting that all the insurance ads I see are targeted to Florida (which is where I am). Could Bing be allowing advertisers to target searchers by geographic area, even on non-relevant keywords?

Bottom line: The only good explanation I can think of for this is an error.

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