On December 1st, 2010, Conduit, a provider of customizable toolbars and web apps with a claimed 260,000 publishers and 250 million, switched to Bing ditching Google as the provider of its search results.
The traffic acquisition transition appears to have immediately begun paying dividends for Bing. As, comScore and Hitwise reported big gains for Bing from Dec to Jan, according to analysis from Rimm Kaufman Group (RKG).
"Towards the end of 2010, Conduit's paid search click traffic was equivalent to 10-11% of Bing.com paid search traffic for RKG clients. That percentage falls off quickly in 2011 as the transition begins and Conduit traffic effectively becomes Bing.com traffic."
"We find that searches on Bing.com with the "pc=conduit" tag comprise about 5% of all Bing.com paid search ad clicks. That's a fairly large discrepancy compared to the 10-11% figure above, but much of that's likely explained by the tag not carrying over to subsequent searches once the user is on Bing.com. That 5% figure has been stable though and we'e no reason to believe that Conduit suddenly saw its traffic cut in half when it moved to Bing, so the former figure likely remains a reasonable estimate of the boost Bing.com is receiving."
As a search marketing agency, Rimm Kaufman's Ballard raises the question of whether Conduit driving such a great percentage of traffic on Bing is good for marketers, since it can't be excluded.
"When it was a Google partner, Conduit provided traffic that was worth about 2/3 as much to advertisers as traffic on the core Google.com domain," said Ballard. "That's a level at which some may choose to exclude it in order to drive more traffic at the same ROI from the core domain and the better performing partners."