Microsoft Advertising

Tackling Bing's Upcoming Keyword Match Updates

Bing recently announced a number of forthcoming updates that will affect the way keyword matching works. Make sure you understand what’s happening, how this will affect you, and what action items you can take to mitigate any drastic changes to your campaigns.

Starting May 21, 2015 on Bing, here are the updates you’ll need to prepare for.

New Normalization Process for Bing Queries

What’s Happening

Bing is updating its normalization logic into their auction process.  In the table below, you’ll see the affected keyword types, examples of how raw user queries are normalized today, and what the query will look like after the normalization change.


Action Items

Moving forward, your ads will not qualify for any queries containing stop words or special characters unless you bid on them directly in Bing Ads. Review your keyword list, and add any relevant characters or words into your account to ensure you maximize traffic from your ads.

Another way to figure out what words to add is to opt into broad match and review search query term reports to see what users are searching for.

Ads Will Deliver on Close Variant Queries for Exact and Phrase Match Keywords

What’s Happening

Similar to the way Google updated broad match and phrase match keywords to include close variants, Bing is doing the same.

Action Items

You’ll want to keep a close eye on click volume. If there is an increase in clicks, this will affect your spend. Run a Search Query report by date range to see which keywords have been steadily spending more. To control this in the short term, you can lower your bids.

Negative Keyword Conflicts

What’s Happening

Negative keywords are intended to selectively suppress ads when your keywords are matching to queries that may not be relevant to your products or services.  Sometimes, however, negative keywords are added that completely block one or more of the keywords that you’re intentionally bidding on.

For example, if you have the keyword [discount shoes], adding the negative keyword “discount shoes” will cause [discount shoes] to never match.

Moving forward, your bidded keyword will take precedence over your negative keyword when there is a complete conflict. For partial conflicts, your negative keywords will be prioritized and suppress ads, as this configuration of keywords is common and often intentional.

The different kinds of keyword conflicts are summarized in the following table. The keyword match type is noted with these symbol conventions.

  • keywords are broad match
  • “keywords” are phrase match
  • [keywords] are exact match
  • +keywords are modified broad match


Action Items

If you have keywords affected by these changes that you would prefer not to match, you can use the negative keyword conflict report to discover these keywords and then either pause or remove them.

Get Started on Bing

If you’re new to Bing Ads and are looking to start some test campaigns, Bing makes it easy to import your AdWords campaigns over. Overall, it’s a cheaper traffic source than Google and owns over 20% of the US market. If you’re new to advertising and need hands-on support to get up and running, Bing has a world-class support team as well.

Take advantage of Bing Ads with this $400 ad credit. Happy advertising!

AdStage Team