Microsoft released its new search engine, Bing, this past Monday (two days ahead of schedule). Fortunately, Omniture’s Product Management and Engineering teams were ready for the release, making reporting on traffic generation via Bing available in SiteCatalyst and other tools in the Online Marketing Suite immediately. (You can read the press release here.) I’ve had requests from a few readers for notes on Bing reporting, so I thought I’d give a quick summary and answer some common questions.

If you check your Traffic Sources > Search Engines – All reports, and if your users have been using Bing to reach your site, then you should already be seeing traffic. You don’t need to do anything in your SiteCatalyst implementation; SiteCatalyst’s core search engine measurement is not dependent on JavaScript plug-ins or code versions, so as long as you’re receiving referrer data, you’ll see data from Bing.

Microsoft Bing data in Omniture SiteCatalyst

You should have this data beginning at around noon U.S. Mountain Time on Monday, 1 June 2009.

Will this affect my Unified Sources VISTA rule?

No. The information that Unified Sources uses to categorize organic and paid search traffic has been updated to account for searches from Bing. Note that this update occurred roughly 24 hours after SiteCatalyst began reporting Bing searches, so you may see a discrepancy between Traffic Sources reports and your Unified Sources reports with respect to Bing data on 1-2 June 2009.

How does Bing affect SearchCenter functionality/reporting?

Bing’s paid search results come from MSN AdCenter, which already integrates with Omniture SearchCenter.

Microsoft AdCenter in Omniture SearchCenter

This means that the change doesn’t affect your SearchCenter management, reporting, bid rules, etc.

What about Bing’s video thumbnail playback?

One of the most compelling—and probably controversial—features of Bing is the ability to play Flash video thumbnails directly in the video search results:

Microsoft Bing's video thumbnail playback

If you mouse over any of these videos, they will play right there on Bing.com, even though they are hosted on your site. Bing does this by pulling your FLVs into its own SWF for playback. Unfortunately, this means that these playbacks cannot be captured using ActionSource. However, if the user clicks the video to view it on your site, playback will be captured normally.

Do I need to make any changes to my Paid Search Detection settings?

Paid Search Detection can be set up to use the same query parameter across all paid search engines by selecting “- Any -” in the “Search Engine” drop down within the Paid Search Detection setup area in the Admin Console.

SiteCatalyst Paid Search Detection

If you have set up Paid Search Detection this way, you will not need to make any changes in order to track paid searches from Microsoft Bing.

If, however, you have set up a distinct query parameter for various paid search engines, as shown in the screen shot below, you will need to add an entry for Microsoft Bing by selecting it from the Search Engine drop-down menu and then entering the query parameter that you use on your ad links within MSN AdCenter.

SiteCatalyst Paid Search Detection

As always, please feel free to shoot any questions/tips/suggestions to me by leaving a comment on this post, via Twitter (@OmnitureCare), or by e-mail (omniturecare@omniture.com). I always enjoy hearing from you!

10 comments
Rohan Agrawal
Rohan Agrawal

Hey Ben ,

Some paid campaigns in google are tracked with the aclk code . Is there is something common in Bing too ? How paid campaigns are tracked in bing ?

MG
MG

Ben, do you have any idea why, I'm still seeing an extremely high number of search referrals from live.com, while still getting referrals from bing.com? I find this really strange, I'm also getting a high number of referrals from a single word term, that when searched i don't even rank for in bing. Any ideas? Thanks MG.

David
David

While im not using SiteCatalyst HBX but Google Analytics ive also notice strange tracking on one of my clients accounts similar to what @Jonas noticed regarding the understanding of Bing as a search engine and not a domain. 1st June - Domain 2 vs Organic 0 2nd June - Domain 10 vs Organic 0 3rd June - Domain 9 vs Organic 0 4th June - Domain 8 vs Organic 0 5th June - Domain 4 vs Organic 0 6th June - Domain 2 vs Organic 2 7th June - Domain 0 vs Organic 0 8th June - Domain 7 vs Organic 0 9th June - Domain 2 vs Organic 10 10th June - Domain 1 vs Organic 5 So why the spike back to seeing Bing as a domain? im sure this is common to other websites that are not using enterprise level products such as Omniture...

Elaine N.
Elaine N.

I second Mark's question. What are the implication for those of us who use the ChannelManager plugin? Will there be an updated version of the plugin available for us to use?

Mark Hanson
Mark Hanson

What are the implications of Microsoft changing their search engine domain for someone using the channel manger plug-in to set SEO campaigns(s.campaign) whenever visitors click on an organic link from bing.com to one of my sites?

Jonas
Jonas

We are using SiteCatalyst HBX, and for us it doesn't seem like bing.com traffic was recognized as search engine traffic from June 1st, but rather from late on June 3rd. The reason why I believe that is the case is that for the last few days the numbers looks like this: June 1st: Bing.com traffic in search engine list: 0 Bing.com traffic in refering domains: 60 June 2nd: Bing.com traffic in search engine list: 0 Bing.com traffic in refering domains: 61 June 3rd: Bing.com traffic in search engine list: 2 Bing.com traffic in refering domains: 66 June 4th (first few hours): Bing.com traffic in search engine list: 6 Bing.com traffic in refering domains: 6 Will the traffic from the first days be retroactively recognized as search engine traffic, or is it from that perspective "lost"?

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

I believe I actually worked with your colleague, May, on this question a couple of weeks ago. She'll have the full details, and for confidentiality reasons I don't want to give a full explanation here. Suffice it to say that we did come to a fairly clear conclusion regarding the source of this traffic. Please let me know if I'm mistaken or if you can't get in touch with May to discuss.

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

David: I'm not sure that what you're seeing there is exactly the same as what Jonas reported; I really don't have any insight into how your Google Analytics account may have been affected by the introduction of Bing, unfortunately. You may want to check the available user forums and documentation to see if others saw similar things. There is also a vibrant web analytics community on Twitter; it's likely that someone there would be able to help understand what you're seeing.

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

Elaine (and Mark): Just wanted you to know that we're aware of this need, and we have crafted a solution that should help to update your Channel Manager implementation to account for Bing traffic. Please see the information below. /* Bing Patch - start */ if (o.referringDomain.indexOf('bing.com')>-1){ o.scBingParam = s.getQueryParam('q','',o.referrer); if(o.scBingParam){ o.campaignId=s.getQueryParam('[Insert your Paid Search Identifier Here]'); o.channel=o.campaignId?"[Insert the Name of Your Paid Search Channel Here]":"Natural"; o.keyword=o.scBingParam; o.partner='Bing'; } } /* Bing Patch - end */ This should be inserted as the first piece of logic that executes following the channelManager call (after the first if statement): var o = s.channelManager(false); if (typeof o != 'undefined' && o){ /* Insert Bing Patch Here */ s.eVar1=o.channel; s.eVar2=o.partner; s.eVar3=o.keyword; s.eVar4=o.referringDomain; s.campaign=o.campaignId; } Full example: var o = s.channelManager(false); if (typeof o != 'undefined' && o){ /* Bing Patch - start */ if (o.referringDomain.indexOf('bing.com')>-1){ o.scBingParam = s.getQueryParam('q','',o.referrer); if(o.scBingParam){ o.campaignId=s.getQueryParam('psid'); o.channel=o.campaignId?"Paid Search":"Natural"; o.keyword=o.scBingParam; o.partner='Bing'; } } /* Bing Patch - end */ s.eVar1=o.channel; s.eVar2=o.partner; s.eVar3=o.keyword; s.eVar4=o.referringDomain; s.campaign=o.campaignId; } Note: [Insert your Paid Search Identifier Here]=psid [Insert the Name of Your Paid Search Channel Here]=Paid Search

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

SiteCatalyst HBX did begin to recognize Bing as a search engine on 6/3 at around 5:30 PM PDT. We apologize for the delay in updating that tool. For a variety of reasons, historical Bing data will not be updated to reflect the change, but all Bing data should be tracked correctly going forward.