Microsoft (Bing) vs. Google Ads: Battle of the Best PPC Ad Platform

Peter A. Liefer II | Posted: March 15th, 2024 | Updated: April 11th, 2024

On the subject of PPC advertising, Bing Ads and Google Ads are commonly pitted against each other. Some business owners even disregard Bing, unaware of its advantages.

Both platforms have pros and cons in terms of costs, audience targeting, and performance. If you’re looking to run online ads, PrimeView can help you decide whether Bing, Google, or both fit your goals and budget. We’ll break down:

  • Does Google have a higher reach?
  • Are Bing Ads worth it?
  • Which platform is more affordable?
  • Which will produce more leads and conversions?
  • Does Bing offer better targeting capabilities?
  • Can I run ads on both Bing and Google?

In an article we published back in 2021, we listed the reasons to run a Microsoft Ads campaign and how to do it. Here, our goal is to give you a side-by-side comparison of Bing Ads and Google Ads. By the end of this read, you can ensure the success of your next online campaign.
Microsoft (Bing) vs. Google Ads: Battle of the Best PPC Ad Platform
 

Bing Ads vs. Google Ads: Similar Features, Different Strengths

Bing and Google have similar concepts. Both are pay-per-click advertising platforms intended to help businesses connect with targeted audiences, generate traffic, and boost revenue. Each platform also contains distinctive characteristics and advantages, rendering it unique and beneficial over the other.

Before discussing their differences, here’s a brief overview of each platform:
Microsoft (Bing) vs. Google Ads: Battle of the Best PPC Ad Platform
 

Bing Ads (Microsoft Advertising)

Microsoft, the creator of Bing, operates three major search engines—Bing, Yahoo, and AOL. By advertising on the platform, all three search engines and their partner sites can display your ad. Bing ads introduces your campaigns to a pool of searchers across Bing, Yahoo, and AOL owned and operated sites, including various partner networks like MSN, Outlook, and DuckDuckGo. It’s a powerful platform, giving Google a run for its money by helping businesses tap into their target audiences.

Here’s how Microsoft Ads work:

  • Microsoft Search Ads: These ads appear on Bing’s search engine results page (SERP). In a nutshell, you bid on keywords, and your ads will show up when people use and search for those keywords.
  • Microsoft Audience Network: This network encompasses Microsoft’s partner networks and apps, allowing you to reach audiences well beyond the Bing search engine.
  • Shopping Ads: Unlike regular text ads, these campaigns let you display quality images to showcase your products and prices in the search results.
  • App Install Ads: These ads promote mobile apps across Microsoft’s various platforms.

Microsoft (Bing) vs. Google Ads: Battle of the Best PPC Ad Platform
 

Google Ads

Google Ads, formerly known as AdWords, is Google’s PPC platform. It allows businesses to gain and expand visibility across Google’s properties. Its ad types and channels include:

  • The Search Network: Ads appear at the top or bottom of Google’s search engine results page. Similar to Microsoft (Bing) Ads, you bid on keywords relevant to your business, and when someone searches for those keywords, your ad appears.
  • The Display Network: This “Display Network” is a group of outside, third-party websites that agreed to feature Google ads. Display ads can be in formats like text, image, video, or rich media.
  • Google Shopping Ads: These ads show product images, pricing details, and merchant information in Google SERPs. This ad format uses a pay-per-click model, so businesses only pay when a user clicks on the ad.
  • Video Ads: These ads appear as videos on partner websites like YouTube, which Google acquired in 2016. If you watch videos on YouTube, you might be familiar with how these ads pop up before, during, or after watching a video. Video ads can have various lengths and can either be skippable or non-skippable.
  • App Ads: These ads allow companies to promote their mobile apps across Google’s diverse platforms.

Microsoft (Bing) vs. Google Ads: Battle of the Best PPC Ad Platform
 

Just How Different Are Bing Ads and Google Ads?

Keeping the above information in mind, also take note of the following before deciding between Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads:

  • Google is the #1 search engine in the world, with an estimated 81% of the market share. Meanwhile, Microsoft Bing holds approximately 7.73% of the market share in the United States and 3.38% worldwide. These numbers translate to Google Ads reaching a larger potential audience than Bing Ads at present. However, Microsoft’s recent integration of ChatGPT technology into the platform may expand Bing’s user base going forward.
  • Bing Ads have powerful targeting capabilities, which are particularly beneficial for B2B  (business-to-business) marketing teams. As the default search engine pre-installed on many office desktop computers, Bing Ads is well-positioned to reach B2B buyers who do product and service research at work. In fact, the majority of Bing’s users in the US have high incomes, with household earnings exceeding $100,000. This access to business decision-makers allows Bing Ads to reach educated, well-off, and experienced audiences.
  • Cost-per-click rates on Google Ads tend to be higher. Since the population of advertisers on Google Ads is larger, there’s more competition, driving auction prices for keywords upward. For this reason, Bing’s Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is often higher than Google’s.

In addition to the above, you must consider the performance and functionality of both platforms. Here is a comparison of how Microsoft Ads and Google Ads differ in these areas:

 

Reach

  • Microsoft Ads shows ads on the Bing search engine and its network of partner websites. While the potential audience may not match Google’s scale, you can target unique users, including those with incomes higher than $100,000.
  • Google Ads features ads on the Google search engine, which processes over 5.9 million searches every minute.

 

Audience

  • Bing’s audience tends to be slightly older and concentrates more on specific niches like technology and business.
  • Google’s users come from different age groups and countries, enabling you to reach a wider range of demographics with diverse interests.

Microsoft (Bing) vs. Google Ads: Battle of the Best PPC Ad Platform
 

Competition and Costs

  • Microsoft Advertising has lower competition in most cases, leading to potentially lower costs per click (CPC).
  • Google Ads generally has higher competition for keywords, contributing to higher CPC compared to Bing Ads.

 

Ad Networks

  • Microsoft Advertising comprises the Microsoft Audience Network and site partnerships, allowing you to display ads beyond Bing’s SERPs. Here are some need-to-know statistics about the Microsoft Audience Network:
  • Google Ads helps you reach customers across multiple Google platforms, including the Google Display Network (GDN), YouTube, and other owned properties. The GDN alone offers significant global reach, delivering ads to an estimated 90% of internet users worldwide. With a user base exceeding one billion every month, the network serves over a trillion impressions, giving you opportunities to connect with audiences at a massive scale monthly.

 

Mobile and App Ads

  • Microsoft Advertising provides options for mobile and app advertising, though its reach might not be as extensive as Google’s.
  • Google Ads offers many ways to advertise on mobile devices and apps within Google’s vast ecosystem.

 

Can You Run Ads on Google and Bing?

Absolutely! Running campaigns on both Google and Microsoft Ads is a surefire way to expand your reach and fill any gaps where your current campaigns are struggling. You can target similar keywords and audiences on each platform, or tailor your campaigns to the different users on Google vs. Bing.

The objective of pay-per-click campaigns is to get your business in front of more people, so you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Let PrimeView help you get on both Google Ads and Bing Ads today to capitalize on new opportunities. Call +1-480-970-4688 if you’re ready for more ad clicks, increased conversions, and higher revenue.