Welcome to the Yahoo! Bing Network formerly known as the Microsoft Search Alliance and now home to Bing Ads, formerly known as Microsoft Adcenter.
I’ll give you a minute to catch up.
From a purely linguist standpoint, these were needed changes. Microsoft Search Alliance always sounded like a roaming, group of rogue rebels from an upcoming Star Wars spin-off. Whereas Yahoo! and Bing are both known search engines, so now you know what you’re getting. The only downside, the weird punctuation. And why did they put Yahoo! first? Did they flip a coin or was there a logical reason?
As for Microsoft Adcenter. . . well, that simply sounds too much like the competitor, doesn’t it? Bing Ads gives the tool its own identity. It’s not a copycat anymore. . . except that it is. One of the features of the new site is the ability to import your Google Adsense campaigns with just a few clicks. Wow, that almost sounds illegal or at least unethical.
And can we talk about this homepage:
I understand that Bing is known for its glorious photos of natural vistas, but is this really the best use of the space? Shouldn’t they use these pixels to demonstrate what they do or at least identify themselves as a business tool?
Let’s get back to Google bashing. How about this?
Yahoo! Bing Network reaches 151 million searchers in the U.S. who are likely to spend 24% more than the average searcher, and likely to spend 5% more than Google searchers in the U.S.
They had me at 151 million searchers.
All in all, the rebranding looks like a good move. The new names feature brands marketers know and by combining Yahoo! and Bing it gives the sense of getting more coverage for your money. Will the rebranding have any impact on your actual search results? Probably not, but a new coat of paint is always good for morale, so Yahoo!