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Microsoft has named hibu to its recently announced Bing Elite SMB Partner program. The move signals Microsoft’s seriousness in trying to challenge Google’s dominance in local seach through its Preferred SMB Partner program, which boasts 3o resellers, including hibu, YP, Dex Media, ReachLocal and other large local media channels.

Since Microsoft announced its SMB program in November, leading Google PSPs including YP, Ad Taxi and others have also signed on with the Bing elite program. This announcement follows hibu’s recent announcement that it has joined Yahoo’s preferred partner program, singaling hibu is serious about expanding the search marketing options it can offer its SMB advertisers.

Microsoft was present at BIA/Kelsey’s recent SMB conference in Denver making the pitch for Bing Ads as a viable local alternative to Google.

Microsoft’s Director of SMB Partner Sales Kelly Tomas Nojaim (pictured above with BIA/Kelsey analyst Abid Chaudhry), used part of her talk at SMB to argue that while Bing can’t touch Google’s volume, it does offer a favorable cost per click vs. Google and reaches an audience with a stronger buying index.


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