Back in October, Bing ads took a (much disliked) step towards, basically, giving SEM managers less control over their Binghoo campaigns — as any advertiser previously targeting just PCs also, by default, was forced to target tablets as well.
Scrolling through the comments of that blog post, you can tell people weren’t happy — so, instead of righting that wrong, Bing has decided to mess with device targeting even further. Beginning on March 23rd (coincidentally, the same day Google AdWords will be deleting unused campaigns to speed things up), any campaign previously only targeting PCs & tablets will now also be bidding on smartphone users as well.
Bing device targeting will be, essentially, consolidated: giving paid search managers no option to set up campaigns for either PC/tablet or smartphone users exclusively. While it’s true that this does already exist in AdWords, the change doesn’t help those with campaigns targeting app downloads; since, as you’ll see in the chart below, there is no bid modifier option for desktop (and, therefore, no way to stop bidding on desktop users).
Obviously, those wanting to exclude mobile users altogether still can reduce their bids by 100%. With mobile search traffic exploding over the past year, though, I’m not sure there will be as much interest for that option as there would be for mobile-only campaigns moving forward.
While I still advocate the use of the combined Bing/Yahoo search network wherever possible, I’m certainly not a fan of giving SEM professionals less choice in terms of optimization & campaign management. If anything, I personally believe we should be given more options to enable us to meet or exceed client objectives — not less.
For those of you with active Bing Ads campaigns, here’s how the device targeting changes rolling out on 3/23 will affect your setup: