Bing Xbox 360Most businesses begin advertising online with Google AdWords because it provides a straightforward way to use  pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to attract more potential customers to their website. According to a new report by ZenithOptimedia, 44% of global online advertisers choose to advertise on Google as opposed to only 4% on MSN and  8.3% on Yahoo!  However, I have a feeling that this dynamic might be changing in the not-so-distant future.

On December 4, 2011, Microsoft hit the tech community with an exciting announcement that Xbox Live will now support voice searches on the MSN/Yahoo search engine  Consumers who own an Xbox 360 have recently seen a software update for their gaming console.  Additionally, those who also enjoy the Microsoft Kinect accessory will now be able to take advantage of the Kinect voice recognition capabilities to perform spoken searches on Bing through their Xbox 360 console.  According to Microsoft, this new feature is the next step in the evolution of television and entertainment.  They are hoping to be the frontrunners of this new era of entertainment by bringing games, movies, television shows, music, sports and the internet together in one place.

So what does this mean for the 87.7% of global online advertisers who are NOT advertising on Bing?  It means that they might want to think about allocating some of their PPC budget to Bing.  Migrating Google AdWords accounts to the MSN/Yahoo! platform can be a tricky task because the platforms tend to not play nicely together.  There are many nuances that make straight Google to Bing migration difficult for people who don’t do it regularly.  So, if this is something you are interested in doing with your AdWords campaigns, please consult a professional before you attempt it yourself.

It will be interesting to see how this Bing voice search functionality will evolve.  I am excited to see whether Bing will allow advertisers to build voice search PPC campaigns or whether voice search data can be analyzed separate for traditional type and click data.  There are so many possibilities and so much potential for this new functionality.  I can’t wait to see what the future brings.  Only time will tell – so stay tuned!