Google Ads vs Bing Ads: What is the Difference?

In many cases, Google Ads vs Bing Ads should not be seen as a competition or an obligatory choice between the two. Any e-commerce business can benefit from the combination of the two leading advertising platforms: Bing Ads (as a part of Microsoft Advertising) and Google Ads. Let’s take a closer look at the two and see if the combination of Bing and Google Ads is the way to go for your online business.

What are Google Ads?

Google Ads (formerly AdWords) is an advertising platform for running ads that show up on Google’s search results and other websites (Google Display Network). It allows the creation of ads in different formats and their combinations like

  • text
  • images
  • videos
  • and interactive content.

Google Ads consist of the following ad types and channels.

Search Ads (Paid Search)

These PPC ads appear at the top or bottom of Google’s search results when users search for specific keywords. In a nutshell, search ads work like this:

  • You bid on keywords related to your products or services.
  • When someone searches for those keywords, your ads appear.

Display Network

Google’s Display Network offers a wide range of websites, apps, and videos where you can display ads. These ads can take the form of images, banners, or videos.

Video Ads

Google video ads appear on YouTube and other partner websites as videos before, during, or after a user watches a video. The video ads can have different lengths and also be skippable and non-skippable.

Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping ads show product images, prices, and store info in Google search results. With Shopping ads, you pay when users click on their product listings to visit their online stores.

App Ads

These ads are made for a specific goal. With app ads, you can promote mobile apps across Google’s various platforms.

What is Microsoft Ads (Bing Ads)?

Microsoft Advertising is a pay-per-click (PPC) platform that enables online stores and businesses to promote their products and services on the Bing search network and its partner networks, like

  • Yahoo!
  • DuckDuckGo
  • MSN
  • Xbox
  • Outlook
  • and AOL.

Just like with Google Ads, you can create and display ads based on keywords with Bing (Microsoft) Ads. Here’s how Microsoft (Bing) Ads work.

Microsoft (Bing) Search Ads

Microsoft Ads (Bing Ads) displays ads on the Bing search engine’s results pages. It works similar to Google Ads. Advertisers bid on keywords, and their ads appear when users search for those keywords.

Microsoft Audience Network

This network includes Microsoft’s partner websites and apps, meaning you can reach audiences beyond the Bing search engine.

Shopping Campaigns

Similar to Google Shopping Ads, these campaigns showcase products directly in the search results.

App Install Ads

These ads promote mobile apps and are shown across Microsoft’s various platforms.

How Google Ads vs Bing Ads Work

At the top level, both Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising work more or less the same way, which includes

  • search ads based on keyword bidding
  • shopping ads
  • partner network for displaying ads
  • app ads.

At the same time, there are obvious differences, especially for ad performance stats, demography, reporting, etc.

How Different Are Google Ads and Bing Ads?

Here’s what you should bear in mind when considering the two ad platforms.

Outside of the above factors, you should also pay attention to the performance and mechanics of both ad platforms. Here’s how Microsoft Ads and Google Ads are different in this relation.

Search Engine and Reach

  • Google Ads displays ads on the Google search engine, which has a significantly larger search market share compared to Bing.
  • Microsoft Advertising displays ads on the Bing search engine and its network of partner sites, reaching a smaller but potentially different audience.

Competition and Cost

  • Google Ads typically has higher competition for keywords, leading to potentially higher costs per click (CPC).
  • Microsoft Advertising generally has lower competition, resulting in potentially lower CPCs compared to Google Ads.

Audience and Demographics

  • Google’s user base tends to be more diverse and global, with a wider range of demographics and interests.
  • Bing’s audience often skews slightly older and more focused on certain niches, such as technology and business.

Ad Networks

Google Ads includes the Google Display Network (GDN), YouTube, and other Google-owned platforms for advertising beyond search. The Global Display Network (GDN) has a remarkable reach of 90% of internet users across the globe. It serves an impressive number of impressions, exceeding a trillion, to a user base of over 1 billion every month.

Microsoft Advertising includes the Microsoft Audience Network and partnerships with other sites, allowing ads to be displayed beyond Bing’s search results.

Here are some Microsoft Audience Network stats.

  • MSN, powered by Microsoft Start, provides news content from the world’s most renowned and reliable publishers to an audience of nearly 500 million monthly unique visitors.
  • Microsoft’s special unit on is the best way to reach 225 million people every month on both computers and phones.
  • AOL has 174 million unique monthly visitors.
  • DuckDuck Go has an approximate daily reach of 111M users.
  • Additionally, Xbox offers a diverse and engaged audience of 63 million monthly unique Xbox visitors.

Ad Formats

  • Both platforms offer text, image, and video ads, but Google Ads often has more sophisticated ad formats and customization options.
  • Microsoft Advertising’s ad formats are generally more streamlined, which can be beneficial for simpler campaigns.

Keywords and Match Types

  • Both platforms use keywords to trigger ads, but Google Ads offers more keyword match types and granular control over targeting.
  • Microsoft Advertising offers similar match types but may have different performances for certain keywords due to its different user base.

Ad Extensions

  • Both platforms support ad extensions, but the specific types and functionalities of extensions may vary between Google and Microsoft Advertising. Plus, Microsoft Ads offers better social extensions.

Ad Distribution

  • Google Ads’ reach extends to a broader range of languages and countries due to Google’s global dominance.
  • Microsoft Advertising might be more suitable for targeting specific regions or demographics.

Mobile and App Ads

  • Google Ads includes comprehensive mobile and app advertising options through Google’s extensive mobile ecosystem.
  • Microsoft Advertising offers mobile and app ads but might have a narrower reach compared to Google.

Campaign Management

Both platforms have user-friendly interfaces, but the layout and tools differ in terms of campaign setup and management.

Optimize Your Google and Microsoft Ads with BrightBid AI

What Do Bing Ads and Google Ads Have in Common?

Here’s what the two ad platforms have in common explained in more detail:

  • PPC advertising. Both Microsoft Ads and Google Ads use PPC advertising, which means that you only pay when a user clicks on the ad.
  • Keyword Advertising. Both Microsoft Ads and Google Ads allow the targeting of specific keywords that users search for on search engines.
  • Audience targeting. Both Microsoft Ads and Google Ads allow you to target specific audiences based on factors such as geographic location, gender, age, and interests.
  • Ad texts and formats. Both Microsoft Ads and Google Ads allow different ad formats, e.g. text ads, image ads and video ads.

What are The Benefits of Microsoft (Bing) Ads vs Google Ads?

Both platforms offer distinct advantages, tailored to various business goals and target audiences. Here’s a cheat sheet explaining the main differences between Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising.

Microsoft Advertising (Bing Ads) Benefits

  • Microsoft Ads has less competition for keywords, which can lead to lower costs per click and valuable clicks at a lower budget.
  • Microsoft’s audience is generally older and works in sophisticated industries, which makes Microsoft Ads a good choice for B2B sales.
  • Microsoft Ads can be cost-effective for reaching a specific audience. Additionally, Microsoft Advertising offers more granular control at the campaign and ad group levels, better device targeting options, and more transparency and control over search partner targeting.
  • Microsoft Advertising’s partnership with the Microsoft Audience Network expands ad reach to premium websites beyond Bing.
  • Microsoft Ads can provide an integrated advertising experience for audiences using Microsoft products like Windows and Office.
  • Google Ads is great for businesses looking to reach a large audience because of Google’s dominance in the search market.
  • Google Ads offer a variety of ad formats, including interactive display ads and YouTube video ads, and allow for more customization options.
  • With the Google Display Network, you can display your ads on a vast network of websites and reach users across different online platforms.
  • If you’re looking to promote your mobile app, Google Ads offers extensive mobile and app advertising opportunities within their ecosystem.
  • Additionally, Google Ads provides extensive language and geographic targeting options due to its global user base.

Comparison of Ad Performance Between Google Ads and Microsoft Ads

Click-through-rate (CTR)

Google has a higher click-through rate of 3.17% compared to Microsoft’s 2.83%.

Conversion rate

Google has a higher conversion rate of 3.75% compared to Microsoft’s 2.94%. This is because Google is more popular with mobile users, while Microsoft Bing is more popular with desktop users.

Cost-per-click (CPC)

Microsoft Ads are cheaper than Google Ads because there is less competition. Microsoft’s average cost-per-click is $1.54, while Google’s is $2.69.

Cost-per-action (CPA)

The cost-per-action varies depending on the industry. Google’s average CPA is $48.96, while Microsoft’s is 15% lower at $41.44.

google ads vs bing ads: google ads microsoft bing ads difference
The difference between Google Ads and Microsoft (Bing) Advertising

Should You Advertise on Both Google and Bing?

In general, it’s a good idea to advertise your products and services on both Google and Bing because you

  • can increase the visibility of your ads and reach more people
  • can compare how well your ads are doing on each platform
  • can benefit from a cumulative effect coming from the performance of the two ad platforms.

If you want to reach a wider audience, Google Ads might be best. If you have a smaller budget or want to reach a specific group of consumers, Bing Ads might be better. Many advertisers choose to use both platforms.

By testing and comparing Google Ads and Microsoft Ads, you can understand which platform works best for you or realize that the mix of both is the right choice for your business.

There are many search engines to advertise on, and which one you choose depends on your business and goals. If you need help, you can talk to us and we can help you come up with a plan.


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