Gavin Whyte

Editorial Escalation Specialist, Bing Ads Platform
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Editorial series: Tips for advertisers promoting software

Over the course of a couple of blog posts, we hope to give you some useful editorial insights that will help you create successful campaigns that fly through the editorial approval process and lead to some great campaign results (and happy searchers too). In this post, I will explain some elements by which advertisers who wish to promote software must comply.


1. Ensure your ads are relevant

Both advertisers and consumers benefit when they have positive experiences with Bing Ads. Advertisers can contribute to searchers having a good experience with their ads by ensuring:

  • Ads do not mislead
  • Ads are highly relevant to the product, services or information presented on your landing page (or general content). For example: when your ad implies a certain product is for sale the landing page must offer the sale of that specific product.


2. Provide a “positive download experience”

To create a positive download experience advertisers must avoid:

  • Content designed to circumvent spam filters.
  • Scaring the user into believing something is wrong with their computer that needs fixing.
  • Being unclear as to the origin and scope of the download.
  • Making it difficult or confusing to remove the software or program.
  • Use software bundling technology, where accompanying products may present a risk, or are flagged by malware or fraud filters.


To sum it up: a good experience with your company starts with great ad at ad-level followed by a relevant landing page rounded off by a proper download experience.

The title, ad copy text and display URL – What is allowed and what is not?

There are three key areas to pay attention to when promoting software. As guidelines are so much easier to understand when looking at examples, we thought we’d give you some relating to the title, the ad text and the display URL:

Display URL:

Scenario: Contoso is a freely available, downloadable internet browser created by a well-known technology company. Nod Publishers, a third-party provider of software products, is promoting the download of Contoso from its own website.

The URL of a. is allowed, while that of b. is prohibited:

a.       Allowed:

b.       Disallowed: 

The latter (b.) is prohibited as it can serve to mislead users into believing they are being directed to the brand owner’s site and not that of a third party, upon detection this would result in a penalty being applied to the offending advertiser.

Please review the Bing Ads policy on URL formatting to ensure your ad is fully compliant.

Ad Text:

The ad text should be an exact and fair description of what is on offer and should not mislead (stating “100% free” or “free” when the product is not).

Scenario: Contoso Editor is a premium product available on a paid subscription on the homepage of Contoso. They also have some affiliates who promote the product, with a list of those affiliates available on their website. Therefore, when Nod Publishers, a third-party provider of software products – and not included in the affiliate list – promotes Contoso Editor as “100% Free”, while in reality offering only a trial version, editorial deems this to be misleading per example a., while b. is deemed compliant if they actually offer a “Trial Version”.

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