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MSN AdCenter

9:41 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Just got accepted into the program. First impressions: Different! Still a bit quirky compared to what i'm used to but different in a good way.

I like the idea of BUYING an advertising purchase rather than spending to a limit and then paying or getting out of control and getting a scary bill in the end!

Ad process is very nice. I like the idea of building ads and matching them to keyboards and the system they use to do that. Very friendly and easy.

Only complaint is the system can be slow, however the status bar that scrolls up on the top of the screen is nice indeed.

will post after approval to see how long editorial takes.

3:22 pm on Dec 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I was approved quickly and already ran through nearly half a million impressions and hundreds of clicks.

btw, the min bid was only .05 and the conversion was pretty good considering i hadn't done much to optimize for broad match or anything like that

4:22 am on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the update. Did you receive an invitation or just decide to apply?
2:22 am on Dec 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I received an invitation and signed up. I had applied probably a few months ago and long forgot.
4:01 pm on Dec 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Well, it does have more downtime then uptime it seems with the ad management interface, however the results are amazingly good and affordable.

Hopefully enough people who don't like microsoft for whatever reason stay away so it stays like this :) I'm loving it.

7:36 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

any idea when msn adcenter will be available to the general audience in US?
2:29 am on Dec 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

i dunno.. i kinda like it the way it is :) I've signed up for the newletter so i'll let you know if they say anything. They do need to polish things up but it's looking good.
3:35 am on Dec 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Is MSN planning, or do they already have an AdCenter for small publishers i.e. Adsense. or only to do keyword marketing i.e. Adwords?
5:09 am on Dec 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

i don't know if they will do publisher content.. i'll drop an email to support and ask.
5:57 pm on Dec 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I tried to associate keywords with differnt creatives and could not - I called up support and they were more clueless than I - It was very dissapointing.

Can you advise how you were able to associate a set of keywords with a specific creative? Did you use the parameters?

3:18 am on Dec 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Would like to get some feedback from someone who is actively using adcenter. Here's my initial take:

1) Keyword "duplicate" hell-

Has anyone been successful in loading a large number of keywords into Adcenter?

When you enter your keywords & hit submit, it takes you to a screen that then tells you a bunch of your keywords are duplicates, yet there is no way to delete them from this screen - you essentially have to start all over again.

"Duplicates" are whatever MSN decides are similar keywords according to their "normalization". Support sent me somewhat of an explanation on how they "normalize", but it's not cut & dry and there is no way really to know what they're going to consider to be a duplicate until you submit your keywords.

If you use the upload tool, it will tell you that certain keywords are duplicates in an "error file" that it displays, but will not upload the non-dupes.

Support suggested importing 10 keywords at a time - nice!

2) Support

Have been unimpressed with support so far, but maybe they've just added some newbies. In any case, they should make sure their support reps understand the basics of CPC advertising and how Google and Yahoo work.

3) Unique URLs/tracking urls for each keyword

If you want to set up unique landing URLs (for tracking purposes) for each keyword, you need to put the full URL in the keyword Parameter 1 field and then when you set up your ad text, use {param1} for the URL.

If you want to set up unique landing URLs for your broad, exact & phrase match keywords separately, you need to create essentially duplicate "orders" where you duplicate all of your keywords but only bid on exact in your "exact order", and only bid on phrase in your "phrase order", etc.

4) no impressions/clicks

I've had keywords that have significant traffic active for a day or so now & so far adcenter is showing no impressions or clicks.

5) Editorial Review

Keywords seem to be rejected without any explanation/reason

The fact that adcenter seems to be so cumbersome to work with wouldn't be such a big deal if their support were more helpful/knowledgeable. I'll put up with a lot for decent results though - anxious to hear if anyone is seeing any traffic.


6:06 pm on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Can anyone point me to a URL where I can sign up for the trial?
8:36 pm on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

trial signup here:

i just got an invitation and created my first campaign. The interface seems clunky to me at first use, although perhaps i am just not used to it.
We'll see....

6:37 pm on Jan 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

This is NOT ready for primetime.

No reports and their customer service does not have a clue how to help. All they say is you need to raise your bid price (they must be on commission). When I told her that why would I increase my bid price when I do not even have a report that tells me where I rank she had no answer and to be honest did not even know how the system worked.

I have now talked to three people there including the floor supervisor. All trying to be helpful but not one knowing anything about Google or Yahoo and no body was technical. At least they were not from India but all they could do is listen and send reports.

I have put this on hold until MSN actually give us a reason to work with them.

6:53 pm on Jan 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Right, I noticed that too, they told me they were actually in Seattle, not India when I asked.

The point about not knowing what position my 5 cent or 7 cent bids put me in is odd to say the least. When I asked why I had no impressions for my popular words all support told me is to blindly raise my bid price, similar to a guessing game. In fact, I got the impression they may have been doing some educated guessing as to the reason themselves!

Why would I want to raise my bid price when I may already be in a top position and not even know it?

I also found the entire CP rather clunky and non-intuitive, especially the area involving if your keywords and ad has been approved or not or is operational.

Hey Bill, surely with all your money and your surprisingly long multi-year delay in getting involved you can do a better job with this.

2:48 am on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Clearly they're not serious about this segment of the market - if they were they would be putting more effort & energy into this & would actually staff their support organization with people that could funnel useful information to their marketing & development teams.

I don't see the point of their beta. They appear to have no way of actively collecting feedback. Their support organization, in my opinion, has no understanding of the CPC space & limited understanding of their own tool & could not possibly provide meaningful feedback on the product.

My guess is that this is for show & they realize they've got too little too late, & they're now putting minimal effort into this & that if they decide to address the CPC market they'll do it through acquisition.

It doesn't make sense for a company like Microsoft to develop their own product in this space with what appears to be limited resources - they could buy any one of the lower end players in this market for chump change (Kanoodle, Miva, etc) & have a significantly better product than what they've developed so far.

6:51 am on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is NOT ready for primetime.

That is the best description I can think of for AdCenter. After a much anticipated acceptance into the program, I feel let down in a major way. The user interface is not intuitive in any way, reporting is no where close to real time, keyword approvals are entirely random, and finding help to any of these problems is next to impossible. The volume is pathetic.

I am NOT impressed at all so far. I just can't see myself doing much business with this program. Adwords on the other hand is a much different story...Why would they not pattern off of a brilliant program like adsense?

2:45 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Microsoft managment has an issue with listening to their customers. They love to tell you what they are going to do but refuse to listen when they find out it is not what you want to hear. If only they had actually used forums like this to find out what customers really wanted they might even have a better product. Time to stop SELLING (Steve Balmer is a SALESMAN) and learn to start LISTENING. I think we are now seeing Microsoft go from market leader to market has been.
5:45 pm on Feb 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Anyone know if they are planning a UK pilot?
12:25 am on Feb 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have one campaign, sorry ORDER, up right now. I want to do LOTS more, but this interface is so clunky and cumbersome that it would take forever. I'm frustrated because there's no function to just paste in keywords and there's no way to copy bids unless I create an excel file. That's a giant PIA.

MSNDude, any updates on when we may see some improvements?

6:25 am on Feb 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Has anyone actually seen their ads on search results?

I have been with the Beta for about three weeks and have accumulated about a few hundred clicks. However, when I tried to searc on the keywords, I have yet to see my ads on any page. This is after refreshing the pages several times for each keyword.

I just hope these search results aren't coming from somewhere overseas. Support isn't all that helpful.


5:36 am on Feb 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Has anyone actually seen their ads on search results?

I've seen my ads on search results. Pretty sporadic. Adcenter shows some potential with reporting, but the data doesn't seem to be very accurate. I seriously doubt Adcenter will be ready by June for prime time.

4:56 am on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

what is adcenter
5:17 am on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

hi everybody,
a couple answers to some comments on this thread...

trader, the tool doesn't show you your position, however you can get an estimate of your position through the price estimation tool.
1. go to the Research tab.
2. click on the Price Estimation tab.
3. use the drop-down to change the match type if you want.
4. type in your keyword and bid.
5. click the estimate button, and you'll see your estimated position.
this is based on the previous month's data.

kempozone, are you still not seeing your ads? one thing to check is your budget setup. for example, if you don't have a daily limit set up, it's possible you ran through your monthly budget already, so your ads aren't showing. let me know what you think of that idea.

also - if you do raise your bid a lot higher than your competitors' bids, you will still pay only $.01 more than the next highest bid to yours.

let me know how it goes.


p.s. itropica, adCenter is a new solution for pay-per-click search advertising on MSN. we're running a pilot in the U.S. right now. you can sign up for an invite here : [advertising.msn.com...]

9:30 pm on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hello adCenter411 - Thanks for your comment.

To answer your questions:
I have registered about 1500 clicks since joining adcenter. However, I have not actually seen any of my ads on MSN and have set my budget very high. In fact, like google adsense, i've set it to about $5K per month for each campaign.

My CTR for most of my campaigns are at least 8% - 11%, which is surprising considering that I cannot see my ads anywhere.

In addition, the psat week has seen major increases in clicks.


7:02 pm on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

during the pilot we're only showing 25% adCenter results, the rest are overture. since you are seeing clicks in your account but not seeing your ads, it may be that you're seeing overture results when you search for your keywords.

if you use this link [adcenter.search.msn.com...] you will see only adCenter results.

let me know if that helps.


1:05 am on Feb 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

i don't know if they will do publisher content...

They are.

7:15 am on Feb 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Thanks for dropping by. How much of a delay is there in your reporting. Seems like my clicks are days behind in your reporting. I don't feel like I'm getting a very accurate picture of what is going on. Is this going to be fixed in the maintenance project this weekend?


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