Google Venture-backed Trada, a paid-search marketplace connecting companies with experts, will announce Thursday a partnership with Microsoft and Yahoo. The two companies formed an alliance to power search and paid-search marketing with technology from Microsoft across their respective company's engines.
Through the search alliance, Trada becomes a certified reseller to support small and medium-sized businesses spending between $3,000 and $50,000 monthly on engines powered by Bing. The company gains technology and marketing support for helping the alliance reach SMBs.
Working closely with Trada allows Bing and Yahoo search engines to support a higher volume of SMBs. Advertisers running campaigns through the search alliance frequently get between 7% and 8% conversion rates, which Niel Robertson, Trada founder, said is significantly higher than the norm.
"We see about 35% of search marketing spend from our clients going into the search alliance," Robertson said. "It's actually much higher than normal. If you took all the budgets for Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter, I don't think it's reflective of the underlying search market share. But because we have the insight to see where small- and medium-size companies should spend their budgets, it turns out well for advertisers and the Yahoo and Microsoft alliance."
U.S. searchers conducted more than 17 billion explicit core searches in May, up 5% sequentially, according to comScore. The data firm said Bing's and Yahoo's share of searches combined total 30% in May, compared with 30% in April 2011 and 27.5% in May 2010.
While Google and Bing offer agency programs, both also have support for resellers that provide marketing services to companies like Comcast and AT&T Interactive, which sell to a high volume of companies. Robertson said his company's business model falls between the two definitions.
Trada's marketplace model taps a form of crowd-sourcing by relying on many PPC experts for one campaign. These experts create keywords, ad copy and ad groups for advertisers lacking the resources and knowledge to design, manage and run paid-search campaigns on multiple ad networks.
Robertson said Trada doesn't play favorites when it comes to supporting companies through paid-search advertising on engines, considering that Google Ventures in July 2010 led a Series C VC round with founding investor Foundry Group, infusing $5.75 million in the paid-search marketplace.