So how has the initial media blitz impacted MSN's share? We have some interesting numbers to share. It appears that the quantity of traffic has not increased markedly, but the quality has, and it may be Google's best shoppers who are checking out the competition. You may have heard hyperventilation to wit: Bing overtakes Yahoo! That turns out to be a gross overstatement, and a marvelous example of why it's dangerous to extrapolate from small sample sets. Here's what we've seen so far in terms of PPC ads, the financial engine that drives the engines. Remembering that Bing went live at the very end of May, beginning of June there are a couple of really interesting trends that leap off the page.
- Totally unrelated to the Bing launch: Check out the weekend effect! Again, this is a percentage of totals, not a measure of absolute volume. It suggests that MSN gets a materially larger share of traffic during the work week than it does on the weekend. Does this mean people use MSN more frequently at work because it's the default search engine for IE? Left to their own devises on the weekends, they choose Google/Yahoo even more often? Fascinating!
- The Percentage of Total PPC Sales from the Big three coming through Bing increased substantially over MSN live, much more so than did costs, clicks or impressions. This could indicate better targeting logic, or that the folks giving Bing a test drive are decidedly higher quality prospects.
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