Ebay has stopped utilizing Google AdWords for mobile devices and instead started to use Microsoft’s Bing Ads. Prior to that, in a financial call with investors over this past summer, Ebay disclosed that Google penalties had cost the company an estimated $200 Million. There is some speculation that Ebay’s decision is a direct result of the penalties, though Google has not admitted to taking any manual action against Ebay. I sat down with WebiMax CEO and Digital Marketing expert Ken Wisnefski to try and decode this whole situation and what it means for all parties involved.
Arter: In your opinion, is Ebay switching to Bing ads because of the Google Penalty, or were there other factors at play here?
Wisnefski: In reality, Google controls most of the search space, the timing of both the penalty and the switch indicates to me that eBay was not pleased with Google’s penalty. I don’t think that move happens without the penalty and subsequent $200 million loss.
Arter: What makes this a good or bad move for Ebay?
Wisnefski: From a pure marketing scenario, I don’t think it is a good move but from a business standpoint, I think large brands like eBay should have the ability to hold Google accountable from a financial perspective if they are impacted with something like this. I agree if I were eBay, I likely would have moved in a different direction also.
Arter: How do Bing Ads stack up against Google Ad words for mobile?
Wisnefski: I think with the recent opportunities that Bing ads have been given, they will improve, but currently Google has a much more viable mobile ad platform.
Arter: Bing has created search partnerships with Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon. And now Amazon is working on a product that will completely replace Google ads on its site with its own ads. Are we seeing a trend? Do you think Google is worried as some of these bigger tech brands utilize other ad services?
Wisnefski: I think the dominance for Google has forced brands to seek out other partnerships but I feel Google is likely more concerned with Facebook owning the mobile space and the fact many ad budgets are beginning to be pulled from Google and moved over to Facebook. That is probably a much more alarming trend to Google.
Arter: Is it realistic to think that these companies could hurt Google?
Wisnefski: Losing big dollar clients hurts Google but it’s also an opportunity for smaller companies to see gains, which, in some respects, could help Google in the long run.
Arter: Google’s average cost per click fell 2% in the 3rd quarter, and its year over year growth was 17% up, which is still the lowest it has been since 2010. Is Google slowing down?
Wisnefski: Yes, it’s slowing down to a point, but there are more and more places for people to advertise. For example, the pure visibility someone may get out of their budget on Facebook may be better than options they have on Google. There are more horses in the race, so budgets are being spread out that much more.
Arter: What does the future look like for Bing?
Wisnefski: This seems to be their chance to regain steam and move forward. The product is a lesser product but with some improvements and further large scale defections, Bing’s future looks brighter than it likely ever has.