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MSN AdCenter Primer for New Users

Intro to AdCenter and comparison to AdWords



11:13 am on Mar 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member

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...]
FAQs: [advertising.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.


6:24 pm on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I created several campaigns with different orders in them and the conversion codes were the same across the entire account.


7:11 pm on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Now today it shows impressons and clicks for the entire campaign. But when I check the keywords they all show 'pending approval' and 0 clicks. When I do a search none of my Ads show up.

What a mess.


10:27 pm on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Tigerlilies, where did you place the snippet? On the receipt page or on every page?

Does anybody know if we can track the conversion value?



5:35 pm on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


I placed the snippet on my confirmation page.

MSN is offering us conversion tracking so we can track the results down to the keyword level--not an analytical tool.

If it was an analytics tool similar to Google Analytics (formerly Urchin) or Webside Story, you would then have to place the javascript on everypage within your website.

I pulled this from their help section [advertising.msn.com] for you...
Where do I put the code snippet?
You can place the code snippet (which displays an MSN Keywords text link (A link that is displayed on a page that contains a conversion tracking code snippet. Clicking this link informs visitors to your site that their visit may have been tracked. ) ) anywhere within the HTML body tags of your conversion page (A webpage shows to users after they complete a prescribed action (usually a purchase or program signup). This page can be tracked to measure the effectiveness of an ad. ) . We suggest you place the code snippet (A line of Java script generated by MSN adCenter. You can place it on a conversion page to track the number of conversions that resulted from users viewing your ad.) toward the bottom right of the page so it does not detract from your page design. Although at the bottom of your page, the link should be clearly visible to users who visit your site.

You should not place the code snippet within dynamically generated header and footer code, as doing so will inaccurately track conversions for every page in your site that shares the same header and footer code.

[edited by: werty at 6:32 pm (utc) on Mar. 10, 2006]
[edit reason] added link to MSN help section [/edit]


5:54 pm on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Do you know if there is a way to track the conversion value? Like the order total?



11:46 pm on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Looks to me like the MSN adCenter enrollment is still open - [adcenter.msn.com...]


11:58 pm on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

what about that conversion tracker taht says ::Ad Center::: that's so stupid...

It doesn't even say MSN AdCenter...
users don't have any idea what that's for...

it's so bad for user experience...

and we can't change it or hide it?

Is anybody changing it or hiding it?

I think that the google one nowadays can be hidden


9:12 pm on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Nothing has changed yet and no response from email support. Although I did get a customer satisfaction survey on my request for support. Pretty obvious how I filled that out.


9:27 pm on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Kahless - you might try phone support - 800-518-5689.

Hours of operation:
06:00 - 18:00 PST Monday - Friday

I've also had better luck getting fast answers to email questions on Saturday and Sunday than during the week.


9:53 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

has anyone had incorrect daily spent amount info in their reports? I have some orders that seem to be way off.


9:53 am on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

have been using adsense, and testing ypn as well but have never tryed adcenter, and really curious...
i going to adcenter.msn.com and wanting to sign up but it asks for an invitation, can any one sand me an invitation to kpymou@yahoo.com? thanks a lot


10:38 am on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Only Microsoft can issue invitations.


3:03 pm on Mar 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

could you give a specific example of incorrect daily spend data in your reports? If you'd rather, send me sticky mail and i can help connect you with our support team to figure our what's going on.


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