Bing Ads Reporting Outage

Bing engineers are frantically working on a fix to correct a Bing Ads reporting outage that has been affecting the Bing Ads platform since Saturday.

Performance data is not flowing, leaving advertisers without visibility into campaign performance, including impressions, clicks, conversions and, more critically for some, spend. All components of the platform are affected, including the API, Web UI, Bing Ads Editor and Mobile apps.

The bug has impacted on the reporting functionality and according to Bing the data will not be lost but there will be delays in the reporting being updated in the platform.

Updates on the incident can be found directly on the Bing Platform Health Blog.

Where the original incident report indicated the bug fix would only take a couple of hours, it is clear the issue is larger and taking more work than originally anticipated.

Bing Ads Error

As of 3pm 12/02 local time (New Zealand) the latest update is as follows:

Ad Delivery: Users might have seen under delivery due to campaign budget pause or replenishment delays.

BI/Reporting Update: All advertiser facing campaign performance reports are populating with most recent data including conversions as of 5:30 PM PST on 02/11/2016
Billing: Prepay and Postpay billing information is impacted and might not show the exact value.

Advertiser API [Resolved]: Bing Ads Advertiser API customers trying to pull complete data for the previous day with “ReturnOnlyCompleteData=true” could have received some error messages. This has been Resolved as of 10:30 PM PST on 02/10/2016

Product Ads Update: All uploaded Bing Shopping feed file processing should be up to date and processing normally. Product offers being updated via Content API are current as of 3:00 PM PST on 02/10/2016. Performance metrics being reported in Bing Merchant is up to date and processing normally and reflecting the latest data as of 12:00 PM PST on 02/11/2016. Time to go live for brand new shopping offers is about 1 day delayed. Product Unit/Partition/Dimension reports are up to date and processing normally.

UET/Remarketing [Resolved]: UET tag status for Active tags were incorrectly showing as ‘Inactive’. This has been Resolved as of 10 AM PST on 2/10/2016. Goal Tracking Status was incorrectly showing as ‘Not Recording Conversions’. This is Resolved as of 5:30 PM PST on 02/11/2016. Remarketing lists sizes are updating per daily cadence as of 2:00 PM PST on 2/10/2016.

Publisher Update: Reports retrieved from the pubCenter UI and the pubCenter Reporting API may not have complete data during the impacted timeline due to data upstream not being available. As of 3:00 PM PST on 02/10/2016, Publisher data is up to date and processing normally.

Editorial Update: The Editorial processing delays have been mitigated. The editorial backlog is currently being processed and estimated to complete within the next 48 hours. There will be a delay in processing Keywords/Ads/Ad Extensions that are in Editorial Pending Review status until the backlog is fully processed by the system and agents. Also, Appeals requested through Bing Ads UI will also experience a delay
Engineering teams are seeing some processing improvements in systems after deploying a fix. As of February 10, 2016 10:30 PM PST, Ad Campaign performance reporting (Impression, Clicks, Spend) is up to date, processing normally and continues to remain stable. As of February 11, 2016 5:30 PM PST Conversion data is up to date and processing normally. [Important Update]: Data for hours between 02/06/2016 10:00 AM PST to 02/08/2016 03:00 PM PST is essentially complete for Advertiser, Publisher and Billing data with negligible variances of approximately 1% for most advertisers. Efforts are underway to correct this and we will provide an update as soon as this is complete. Please see Description section above for detailed updates on Product Ads, Publisher & Editorial. We will continue to send updates as we learn more.

Why should you care?

At time of writing there should be no major need to worry however we will keep a close eye on the situation and provide updates and recommendations if we feel it will be pertinent to pause any campaigns.

The major issue for large ecommerce sites in the US is the lack of revenue/conversion data which could impact optimisation decisions. However, in the NZ market this should not be such a problem based on the relatively small percentage of search share the platform currently holds.

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About the Author Glenn Marvin

Glenn is a Partner and Senior Consultant who has had a very successful career building growth companies in the private equity arena. He has a wealth of experience in both the digital space and strategy development. Prior to becoming a partner in SureFire Glenn built one of the largest digital teams in New Zealand for a NASDAQ listed global online marketing company & Google's largest premium partner.

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