Bing Ads Ends Device Targeting and Follows Google’s lead

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

September sees the implementation of a controversial change to Bing’s device targeting options; the amalgamation of Desktop and Tablet targeting.

Currently, a negative bid modifier of -90 is available on desktops and tablets, effectively allowing you to stop Ads showing on either of the devices.  The up and coming change is going to restrict the negative bid modifier to -20, meaning that you are compelled to advertise on both laptops and tablets. What is more, the new negative bid modifier will only be allowed on tablets, which prevents you from using a positive bid modifier on desktops to circumvent the restrictions.

In appearance, we will probably see Bing’s device settings change from this:

Bing Ads - 1

To this:

Bing Ads - 2


This move comes despite assurances made in 2013 that Bing does “not believe bundling together mobile, desktop and tablet advertising in an opaque manner is in the best interest of our customer base or the industry at large.” (

However, Bing justifies its U-turn by the need for smoother compatibility with Google and has pointed out that advertisers maintain a level of ‘flexibility’ with the -20% bid modifier.

How to prepare:

  1. Make sure that your site works well with tablets.
  2. Expect to start receiving traffic from tablets and make proactive changes.  If you currently have a bid modifier below -20% it will automatically be set at -20% when the changes are rolled out in September. The same can be said if you have set your bid modifiers to exclude traffic from desktop computers.

Mobile Device Targeting Is Disappearing

Beyond September another key change looms in the distance; Bing’s plan to remove the option of explicit mobile device targeting and replace it with bid modifiers.  This change will be rolled out in 2015 and, they claim, will conclude align Adwords and Bing Ads to allow for the seamless transfer of campaigns.

To prepare for this change you will need to start using the bid modifier to exclude non-mobile traffic rather than the  beside the Device categories.

Bing will also be launching app promotion ads, allowing you to download apps with a single click. Replacing OS-specific targeting, they will only appear on the devices where the app can be installed.

This change will only impact those advertising apps, and even then they are likely to increase downloads if anything.

If you would like to consider reviewing your digital marketing strategy and would like a fresh set of eyes looking over your digital marketing campaigns, then please contact us.