Bing merchant FAQ
Bing Rich Captions
Q: How does my product look as a Rich Caption?
A: Bing users will be able to see your product information (price and availability) below the search algorithmic results as shown:
Please note that this experience will not impact the ranking of the search results.
Q: What do I need to do to enable Rich Captions in my existing store?
A: If you want to participate in Rich Captions, all you need to do is sign in to your store and check the “Rich Captions” box in the store settings tab.
Once you have signed up, you can submit your feeds via direct upload to Bing Merchant Center (BMC), or via FTP, or via HTTP pull.
Q: How are the products chosen to be shown inside Rich Captions?
A: Before serving a search result page, Bing will compare the algorithmic search results URLs to the URLs in your feeds. If there is a match, the price and availability information will be added below the blue links (see image above). This information will help users make an informed decision before clicking on the links to your pages.
Q: Why might my product feed information not show on the SERP page as Rich Captions?
A: The reason for the product information not being visible beside your search algorithmic result may be as follows:
- The search algorithmic result URL does not match any of the URLs uploaded in the feed
- You may have added some custom tag in the feed URL, which leads to the feed URL not matching the algorithmic search URL.
- Your URL in the feed is a redirect URL to the landing product page on your site.
- Data quality: The price and availability data that you submit in your feed must match the information on your web site. Bing may disable the Bing Merchant Center accounts of the merchants who submit feeds with inaccurate information for Rich Captions.
- Some of the offers may be rejected during ingestion (e.g.: bad URL format, bad price format). These will be listed on the error report from BMC.
Q: Are there step-by-step instructions available to me?
A: Yes, please see our Bing Merchant Center help article.
Q: Does use of the Bing Ads platform require me to do paid search as well?
A: No, you will not be required to do paid search text ads in addition to Bing Product Ads or Bing Rich Captions, but the use of this portal ensures that you will always have that option.
Q: I am a new merchant onboarding with the new portal. How will I know when I have been activated?
A: All newly created accounts will undergo an initial review which normally takes up to five business days. When this is completed, you will receive an email notifying you of the results. You can also see the status in the Store Settings tab of your Bing Merchant Center account.
Q: Have your product restrictions changed at all?
A: Our product restrictions have not changed. For a complete list of all product restrictions please visit our Bing Ads policies.
Q: Is this program open to merchants outside of the U.S.?
A: No, Bing Product Ads and Rich Captions are still restricted to merchants domiciled in the U.S. You are not considered domiciled in the U.S. unless you have a Taxpayer Identification Number.
Q: When I click on the Bing Merchant Center Account Management link, I get a message saying "Account management is not authorized." What should I do?
A: Every Bing Merchant Center account is tied to only one unique Bing Ads account. If you are receiving this message, it means that you currently don't have access to this account. To get access, you must ask the super admin (who manages the Bing Merchant Center account) to create a user profile with the necessary access roles and provide them to you.
Q: I have completed all of the account setup for the Bing Merchant Center in Bing Ads, however I have this warning flag: "Note: you haven't set up your catalog information yet. The next step is to create a catalog on the Catalog Management page." What am I missing?
A: Please select the "Save" button on the Catalog Management page.
Bing Ads access
Q: Do I need a Bing Ads account to participate in Bing Rich Captions?
A: Yes, all new merchants will need a Bing Ads account to participate in the Bing Rich Captions program. To get started, just go to Bing Ads and click the "Sign Up" button.
Q: We are a premium paid search advertiser with Microsoft. Our paid search administrator is our Account Manager from Yahoo Search Alliance. How do I proceed?
A: Please contact your paid search administrator and have them create a new Bing Ads account specifically for Bing Rich Captions under your company’s existing Bing Ads customer account. Tell them that no paid search campaigns will need to be created and this can be used for Bing Rich Captions only. Once the Bing Ads account has been created, the paid search administrator can also create a user account for you to log in and access the Bing Merchant Center under the Tools tab.
Feed file format and attributes
Q: What file types are accepted as data feed files?
A: The following file types are accepted:
Q: Can I submit a data feed in any other format (XLS, other Shopping Engine feeds, etc)?
A: We only accept the 18 column data feeds that meet our specifications and are saved as mentioned in Bing Merchant Center help article.
Q: What are the feed format requirements?
A: You can find all of the details in the Bing Merchant Center help article. Merchants must upload a new data feed at a minimum of once every 30 days.
Q: Do I need to categorize my products?
A: No. Bing Rich Captions does not use categorization information. However, Product Ads will use this information. For more information on categories, please refer to the Bing Merchant Center help article.
Q: When we create feeds, we have one MPID for each product, but we do not currently have MPN, UPC or ISBN. What can I do to make to improve searches for my products?
A: If this is the case, you are free to list the MPID in the MPN field for each product.
Q: If I am a clothing retailer, where do I place the style number in Data feed?
A: Many clothing retailers often use the SKU column for their style number.
Q: Does the Bing Product Ads or Rich Captions Program support used or reconditioned products?
A: Currently we do not display any used or reconditioned products in the Bing Product Ads or Rich Captions.
A: Ensure you have unique MPIDs and product titles. Utilize the SKU column to differentiate between your items in terms of color and size.
Q: I have many products that only differ in size, color, etc. How do I include them in the feed?
Q: What is the Deals program?
A: By including a few columns in your feed, you can participate in the offer level deals program to show discounts on individual items/each offer in your feed.
Q: How do I join the Deals program?
A: Add these three required deal columns to your regular data feed: PricewithDiscount, DateStartDate, and DealExpirationDateTime. Upload your feed as you normally would and your deal offers will display within a few days. For additional columns and details on the deals program, please review the Bing Merchant Center help article.
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Q: I am an agency and manage hundreds of accounts. Can I manage all of these with one login?
A: No, each merchant will require a unique log in to Bing Ads.
Q: I am an agency. My client has access to Bing Ads but is not comfortable sharing their account information with me. What can I do?
A: Your client will need to create a separate user account for you to continue to manage their account. Also, the client needs to be setup as managed by agency. Please see the question on how to create Bing Ads accounts.
Q: I am an agency and all of my clients have existing Bing Ads accounts. Can I utilize their existing accounts?
A: Yes, if your client (the merchant) is already using Bing Ads, then each client can create a user account for you that you can use for managing your store or catalogs.
Uploading a feed
Q: My FTP credentials don’t work. How do I reset my FTP password?
A: You can manage your FTP credentials and reset your FTP password in the FTP Settings tab of your Bing Merchant Center account. Simply type in your new password and click Save, then wait 15 minutes before trying to login again. Please note that FTP passwords must be at least six characters long, alphanumeric, and include a special character. Keep in mind that the number of characters will always remain six even when you reset the password, but this doesn’t mean that your changes didn’t take effect. If this procedure doesn’t work, please review the Bing Merchant Center help article.
Q: Where do I upload my data feed?
A: Upload your data feed to ftps://feeds.adcenter.microsoft.com/ using an FTP client. There is no way to upload a data feed using your Bing Ads account.
Q: Why is the link ftps://feeds.adcenter.microsoft.com/ not working when I click on it?
A: ftps://feeds.adcenter.microsoft.com is the name of our FTP server and it is not a link. You need to have an FTP client to upload your data feed.
Q: Can I upload several data feeds in one day?
A: You can upload the data feed several times a day. The offers in the feed will be ready for serving within an SLA of 24 hours from the upload.
Q: I have problems uploading my feeds, how can I get support?
Improving offer relevance
Q: Are there any optimization tips to help ensure that my offers are visible to shoppers?
A: We highly recommend that you review your feed and ensure that you are not making any of the common mistakes listed below. Specifically:
- Please ensure there are no quotation marks wrapping entire text fields such as description and title in your data feed.
- Write all numerical values to a precision of 2 decimal points, i.e. 15.00.
- Price and shipping fields should contains no symbols or text, i.e. $, N/A.
- Verify there are no spaces before, after or between header titles, and that all titles are an exact match of values shown in the Bing Merchant Center help article.
- Ensure no mis-formatted rows, blank columns, or missing ‘CR\LF’ at end of rows.
- Each line in your feed should contain only one product listing.
- All files should be tab delimited formatted in Dos\Windows and encoded in UTF-8.
- MPIDs must be unique for the lifetime of the product and be consistent between data feeds.
- If StockStatus or Availability is utilized, only items noted as In Stock will display. Please do not use values other than: In Stock, Out of Stock, Pre Order, or Back Order.
- If Condition is utilized, only items noted as New will display.
- Delimiters for your category field should be | or , or >.
- No HTML characters in any text fields.
- Ensure that you are not selling any restricted products.
For additional information regarding the creation and submission of product feeds, please refer to the Bing Shopping program Bing Merchant Center help article.
Q: What can I do to ensure the freshness of my offer data?
A: Although we require merchants to refresh their feeds every 30 days, we highly recommend that merchants provide us a fresh data feed every 24 hours to ensure accurate pricing and product information.
Q: Why is an image/product not displaying?
A: Ensure your site is crawlable in the Robots.txt file of your website. Our crawling agent bingbot must be allowed to crawl your site or your products will not display in the organic Bing search results.
Q: Is there a report that tells me how many offers are displaying?
A: Yes, the Publishing Report is available under the Catalog Management tab for your store.
Q: What if I lost the FTP server and the Merchant Center credentials, how can I get them back?
A: You can reset your password in the FTP settings tab of Bing Merchant Center. For further assistance, please visit our Additional Resources section of the Bing Merchant site.
Q: What if I have other questions about the Bing Merchant program on-boarding process?A: For further assistance, please visit our Additional Resources section of the Bing Merchant site. Additionally, you can contact the Merchant Center Support team through the Bing Merchant Center support form.
Q: What if I have other questions about the Bing Merchant program?
A: For all Merchant Administration questions, please start by visiting our Bing Rich Captions page, where you can use several resources including our Merchant Forum for community support.
Q: I have a specific product searchable on Bing Product Ads or Rich Captions, but now I want to remove this product listing. What should I do?
A: Simply update your feed by deleting the specific product’s line and upload the feed.
Q: I want to take an entire catalog out of Bing Merchant Center. What should I do?
A: To disable your feed, uncheck the “Enable Feed Publishing” checkbox under the Catalog Management tab of your Bing Merchant Center account and click Save.