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MSN AdCenter review

my review of the new system..


Import Export

7:46 am on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I will keep information coming, so take the following as the first bite.

Overall the ad management interface is clean and basic. Very easy to use and understand after a minute of bumping around. I am reminded of the AW system in that of the design, interface, and usability.

Right off hand a neat aspect of the system is that it allows you to create and manage multiple accounts (w? diff CC's) under one basic username. That makes it easy for managing multiple accounts, similar to how the G MCC.

The metrics given back via the MSN keyword tool are really cool. You can view demand for each KW/KP, but then also break each of those into charts containing traffic trends (time), gender trends (M/F), and geographic stats (LA, San Diego, Paris, etc). Additionally, you are given similar terms/phrases if you choose to see them.

The Price Estimation tool allows you to gauge how much you will be paying for your position. However you have to bust out your calculator and do some math to figure out the number of clicks as they don't give you that metric.

Reports are very easy to generate and view. They are actually very dynamic (for a new PPC system). They allow you to create reports on all types of data including dates, performance, targeting, and the neatest of all - by time ranges (AM/PM style!).

Because the system is still in Beta, I can only run ads and retrieve data based on 2 small geographic locations. I am talking to MSN and hope to be able to beta test more locations very soon - including the US!

Import Export

8:05 am on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Perhaps the neatest thing of all (can't believe I forgot to mention this above) is the ability to serve ads by time ranges. IE: Serve this ad for the following keywords in the "morning" only please :o)


9:40 am on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for sharing this, Import.


10:01 am on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yes, thank you. Good information. Maybe the time serving feature will spread to other companies.

Import Export

10:42 am on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

In my first post there was a typo with "w?". I meant to write "w/" or "with"... So the new system does in fact allow you to manage multiple accounts, each of which being linked to the CC of your choice.

More coming soon...

Import Export

11:37 am on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

When the program goes live the cost to open an account will be a signup fee charged to your credit card (approx $5 USD. After signup, you pay for clicks on your MSN Keywords ads.

For example, you sign up for a new adCenter account with a $5.00 charge to your credit card. The minimum cost per click (CPC) is stated at $0.10 (however I am seeing ads go through for $0.05), so if you do not set a campaign budget, this is the minimum bid you can have. If you set a campaign budget and choose a daily limit, the daily budget is calculated by the total budget divided by the number of days in the month (or number of days you specify), so your campaign may start as low as 10 cents and increase to whatever limit is calculated from averaging of cost per day.

More coming soon...

Import Export

11:44 am on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

How bidding works:

MSN adCenter allows you to submit base bids for keywords or phrases you associated with your ads. This base bid is the maximum amount you are willing to pay if any Search user searches for one of your keywords and clicks your ad. You can also increase your bid in order to reach specific audience targets, which help increase the chance your ad will show to a user who fits your "buyer profile" (more on this soon). These additional targeting bids are added to the base bid on all keywords by the amount you specify when shown to the particular target you specify.

Targeted bidding in the Ads Targeting tab of your order allows to add amounts to your base bid to increase the possibility that your ad will show to Search users who fit your "buyer profile".

Targeted bidding can include the following:
-Users in a specific geographic location
-Users searching on specific days of the week or during a specific part of the day
-Users of a specific gender or age

Again, the targeted bidding is about the coolest thing ever!

Import Export

11:46 am on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


When the program is launched, the only methods of payment will be VISA, MATERCARD, and AMEX. No bank transfer etc..

*However, more payment methods will be added as feedback is given..

Billing Period:

You are billed each time your campaign generates S$75 in advertising costs. This is called your credit threshold. Over time, as payments are received successfully, the credit threshold will be increased and your credit card will be charged after S$150, S$750, S$1,500, and S$4,000 of advertising costs.

Import Export

11:54 am on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

When you select to "target" bidding towards, lets say by age, you can choose the CPC for each individual age range. For example, if I were selling a product tailored to older people, I might setup my targeted bidding as:

Age - CPC
18-25: $.05
25-30: $.05
30-45: $.10
45-60: $.15
60+: $.20

More to come...

Import Export

12:09 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Problems with the new system so far:

There is a glitch when I go to setup what MSN calls an "ORDER" (in the AW system they call this an AdGroup). This glitch makes it so that I cannot extend my reach into other geographic regions apart from my original campaigns settings.

Not sure if this is an error or just producing no results based on the limited reach of the beta account, but, when you use the "Keyword Research Tool" you are given an option to search for either KW/KP or Website. Now, when you search for a specific website (demand) you get no results. Even for obvious sites that you can see huge demand for by selecting to view by KW.

The price estimation tool just needs help. :-/ (sry msn). This tool is not intuative (maybe I am spoiled from the rest of the system) and does not give back all of the data an advertiser would like to see.

More to come...


12:36 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Good info above, thanks for sharing.

Just some general info:

  • MSN is set up a lot like AdWords.
  • It has a variety of dynamic insertion like functions.
  • It has an easy way to bid on exact, phrase, or broad match varieties of keywords.
  • There is no content targeting options.
  • Ad headlines will be 25 characters, ad copy is 70.
  • The bulk upload spreadsheets are the nicest I've seen for any PPC.

Due to the large variety of ways one can target ads and prices, the entire issue of 'I can't see my ad' will become interesting. I can see opening many MS passports, each with different data, to see ad positioning and competition.


3:09 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Great post.

I can't wait to hear more in the future.


4:08 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Any talk of a publishers program with MSN?


7:17 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

How is MSN going to find out the age group for people browsing the web? Targeting by Age group would be very usefull for us, if they could pull it off.

Any idea when Adcenter will be available.


8:21 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

They ask it of Hotmail signups, so whilst they will not always know it, they will have SOME information to start, and I am sure that other ways will come along fast.


8:53 pm on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Just did a quick search on WebmasterWorld and could find this elsewhere, but excuse me if I've missed something in another post!

Anyone heard anything about an MSN AdCenter API that will perform similar functions to the Google API?




12:48 am on Sep 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jenstar is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I was fortunate to see the MSN AdCenter demo recently (as well as an earlier version in the spring), and I must say that it rocks. It has some pretty cool features that will have some internet marketers drooling to get their hands onto, features that neither AdWords nor Yahoo offer.

I am interested to see how their ROI is in comparison to AdWords and YSM, and what kind of market reach they have in terms of impressions. Now I am just waiting to start testing it live... those of you that know me know I love to test things ;)

They will be taking beta testers of AdCenter from here when they do go beta:


4:28 am on Sep 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

[quote[Anyone heard anything about an MSN AdCenter API that will perform similar functions to the Google API? [/quote]

There will be an API for MSN. They've taken a lot of feedback from a variety of sources in preparing for the launch.

Import Export

5:37 am on Sep 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I agree, they have been SUPER with the dev community and will be rolling out the API soon. That is one way MSN is a head of GAW & YSM. Even though Tim is helpful on the YS front, with developers MSN stays connected...

Import Export

5:44 am on Sep 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Items I am working on with MSN & the AdCenter:

-Working with their support staff to fix a technical glitch
-Testing ROI across a very broad range of campaigns (currently in Y, A, & G).
-Expanding into new regions(!)
-& more..

More review information will be posted as soon as I can get get some time to write it up. Also, after I work with support more I will post a review of that as well and how it compares to the other major players support.

Overall, this system is simply cool. It is so easy to use (similar to AW) and so intuative. Nice, clean, and simple. While there are a few glitches, I have to give them credit for their first launch being light years a head of YSM interface. Yes, that's light years. The AdCenter is just a pleasure to use. :o)

Again, more shortly..


8:18 am on Sep 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks eWhisper and ImportExport. Microsoft's strength is with the developers, so I'm really looking forward to seeing their API! :-)


2:44 pm on Sep 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks very much for the updates. I'm looking forward to using this when it is launched.

Any word/clue on whether batch uploading will be possible (I have around 30,000 keywords)?

Any word/clue on whether there are limits on account size (such as 30,000 keywords)?



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