For all of those who will be joining AdCenter on Monday [webmasterworld.com] here is a bit of a primer for you:
What to expect:
Low cost clicks, low traffic, dodgy system performance, and a new interface/process to learn. I have been using AdCenter since its first launch and have seen vast improvements in version two, so I am expecting things will get much better, and all feedback will be listened to.
Here are a few things to consider when signing up for AdCenter:
The new sign up that will launch on Monday will be for the US only, does this mean that it is for US customers, or for US traffic? I work in Canada, and have a US account, so it would seem like if you are in a country other then the US, you can sign up for the service, but you will only be able to target US based traffic. (they already have separate Singapore and France that are open for sign up)
How much does it cost to sign up?
It is not free to sign up; it will cost $5.00 USD
How does AdCenter compare to AdSense or YPN?
This is not for the AdSense part of AdCenter; it is only for BUYING advertising, not selling clicks on your site. AFAIK that product has not been released.
How many accounts can you get?
You should be able to get one Master Account, with up to 3 sub accounts per credit card within one interface. So you can have more than 3 accounts within one main login, if you have numerous credit cards. You may be able to play the system and get numerous accounts with different credit cards and email addresses.
How is this different from Google?
Well it is very similar however the main thing is the Ad groups on Google, would be the equivalent of an ORDER on MSN. The second biggest thing is that you have one description line of 70 characters VS 2 lines of 35 characters each like on Google.
How does the bidding system differ from Google? [webmasterworld.com]
Minimum cost is $0.05 per click. If there is competition you only pay one cent above the advertiser below you (overture style). There is talk of MSN switching to a CTR*CPC structure like early Google (before quality score), but now it is closer to Overture.
What Are Parameters?
These allow you to dynamically add things other than keywords to your Ad Copy, up to 3 parameters can be stored per URL. Parameter 1 is best used for using a unique URL per keyword, since it allows more characters than parameter 2 or 3. I have had issues when trying to put parameters into the URL dynamically, especially when there is a space. Worth testing however.Read more about Parameters here [advertising.msn.com]
In addition to this there are massive amounts of targeting features:
Target by location, sex, income, time of day, etc…
How accurate is the targeting data?
“As accurate as the forms are filled out by passport users”
Where does it get the data from?
Passport information (this is Microsoft passport – used for hotmail, msn messenger, etc)
How does the traffic convert?
I have been very happy with it, just wish there was more.
How much traffic can I expect?
They just upped the serving by 70%, from the original 25ish%, so roughly 40%. So just imagine if you are happy now, you will have the potential to reach 2.5x the traffic when it is rolled out 100%, and that is if they do not gain market share.
I can’t see my ads?
MSN is attaching cookies to users, so once they get an overture ad, they stick with overture ads, to bypass this and see MSN ads go to: [adcenter.search.msn.com...] it should overwrite your overture cookie and show you MSN ads for the next 30 days [advertising.msn.com].
AdCenter does not work on my machine?
Make sure you have the proper equipment/software: [advertising.msn.com...]
I had issues with IE 7.0 (beta) and had to downgrade to 6.0
I have a great suggestion for AdCenter, how can I tell them about it?
You can try to fill out their form: [advertising.msn.com...] but you are better off adding to the WebmasterWorld AdCenter wish list [webmasterworld.com].
Where can I learn more about MSN AdCenter?
AdCenter Home Page:http://advertising.msn.com/msn-adcenter
AdCenter Login: [adcenter.msn.com...]
Official AdCenter Blog: [blogs.msdn.com...]
Keep in mind AdCenter is a beta and they do want your business and feedback. Please follow-up with any pointers you may be able to add to this for the AdCenter newbies.