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Adcenter has stopped sending traffic

Is it broken?

     
3:46 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Is Adcenter broken?

My traffic has dropped from 200+ referrals a day down to almost 0 now over the last 3 days.

My daily spend for the last 3 days is something ridiculous like -.17

What's the deal? Has anyone else's traffic dried up completely?

6:29 am on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't know because the reports are days and days behind.
3:38 pm on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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did your ranking change? i noticed a big drop in traffic too. it turns out i'm getting less traffic because a bunch of new advertisers are now out bidding me. anyone else see this?
4:37 pm on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It suddenly dropped off for me too. I did a "last seven days" billing report for my busiest campaign, and there are many clicks on 4/3, 4/4 and 4/5, one on 4/6, but then there are no days beyond that listed, even though the date range goes to the 9th. My other campaigns don't report beyond the 4/4 or 4/5.

I don't think it's just slow reporting, because the number of clicks I've registered on my site also dropped off on the 6th.

10:28 pm on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Mine fell by over 50% also last week. Made for one of the worst weeks all year.
12:57 am on Apr 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I emailed tech support and got a lousy answer that nothing had changed with my account.

Then my traffic magically came back yesterday, up from 8 clicks to 250.

Microsoft should buy someone to do PPC. I don't think they can handle this on their own.

11:18 pm on Apr 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Something very similar has happened to me so I tried to investigate. After stumbling through MSN's Report creator, I finally managed to get some meaningful stats.

One of my keywords has been ranking number 1 or 2 on MSN all through March and up to the 6th of April.

On the 7th, it dropped to position 6.

On the 8th, it dropped to position 10.

On the 10th, it dropped to position 20!

This keyword has averaged a CTR of 21% since half way through March. I'm waiting on MSN for a valid reason for the drop. I'm positive it isn't competition. There's no way they're paying that much for these keywords.

3:48 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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do let us know what the rep says. i was thinking the same thing... are these guys really out bidding me? one of my keywords, the rank 1 guy is ebay with a generic spam listing. it doesn't make sense that they could be bidding that much on the listing, especially since it doesn't appear ebay even bids for this keyword on other ppcs markets like yahoo and google. maybe msn is favoring larger advertisers?
3:55 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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oh, i forgot to mention my other pet peve... msn is advertising their own site (health.msn.com) and their listing appears in the top 3. how unfair is that? they are basically paying themselves and jacking up the bids on the auction. it's not even a seperate division...but rather MSN proper that's doing this.

anyone else seeing MSN's own listings bumping them down?

6:00 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think my rankings have dropped too, but it's hard to tell with this system. I searched on MSN and couldn't find some ads at all, even after going back six or seven pages. Then I upped my CPC and they were back. I don't know which makes less sense, that my ads were suddenly shoved back 8 pages on 4/6 or that the ads weren't running at all.
11:10 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well I've had 3 support requests and all have been absolutely pathetic, mainly because you get a different rep each time you reply.

The first answer they gave:
Talked about an unrelated campaign being new, and therefore not currently fully activated.

My fault really for not explaining my problem thoroughly.

Second answer (after spelling out problem with report statistics):
Told me it's possible people are out bidding me. They have new advertisers starting everyday, etc. Pointed me to an optimization learning center.

Strange how 19 competitors all started within 3 days of each other and all of them have started bidding higher than me. My ad was in position 1/2 all through March and up to the 6th of April. Just not reasonable. And telling me to visit the optimization center! The ad has an average CTR of 21% over this time!

Third answer:
After I sent back telling them my ad is perfectly optimized, I get a different rep telling me my account has an average of 4.3%, and could in fact do with some optimizing. Obviously they lose the past emails on each reply, otherwise he'd know I was talking about one specific keyword, not my entire account. This is a big problem MSN.

Anyway, this guy tried to tell me the problem is with the reports. That in fact my keyword reports are telling me lies and are not reflecting the actual position of my ad. They say it's a known concern and is to do with delays in reporting. Daily reports are one day behind, and hourly reports are an hour behind!

Huh?

Well explain why I no longer get any clicks from this keyword then?

This is where I'm now at. Ive sent a rather candid reply telling them to give me a valid answer. If they can tell me 19 competitors all came along in 3 days, I can handle that. What worries me is the complete lack of knowledge from their support.

I've had to spell out everything again because obviously they lose all past replies to a single support request. I will post my findings. My whole account is producing nothing now, some minor impressions, but no clicks.

1:46 am on Apr 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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NetPro and rehabguy,
we want you to be happy with your experience when you work with our support team, so if you're dissatisfied, please sticky mail me with your support ticket # so i can follow up and figure out what happened.

as for traffic, has it picked up again? we made a change to our broad match settings so you should see an increase.

let me know how it's going.
thanks,
adCenter411

1:42 am on Apr 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for responding.

Our traffic finally came back, with a vengence. Went from $0 to $111/day overnight.

Thanks for checking in. I'll be sure to sticky you if I have any additional support issues...

rehabguy

10:06 am on Apr 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Traffic back to normal here too. Keywords back from position 20+, to position 2. Looking forward to expanding my campaigns again now.

Thanks

5:09 pm on Apr 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i am seeing that as well. my ranking jumped back to rank 1, having been at 20+. i wonder how tweaking the broad match algo would do this...
2:18 pm on Apr 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I was told by an AdWords rep that MSN AdCenter ads only run in the first three positions consistently and that those are rotated. The ads on the right come from various sources and are not necessarily MSN AdCenter ads. I don't know if this is true, but my impression is that you can't really bid to any position because everything is random right now.

I called about this because I noticed my ad was jumping around from position 1 to position 6. About 50% of the time it wasn't showing up at all even though my bid was high enough that it should have been in one of the top positions.

7:55 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I haven't seen any sudden resurgence in clicks -- they're up some, but not by as much as they were. And when I search on MSN.com, even for keywords that I use that have few other ads, my ad isn't there.
8:08 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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...msn is advertising their own site (health.msn.com) and their listing appears in the top 3. how unfair is that? they are basically paying themselves and jacking up the bids on the auction. it's not even a seperate division...

This is not new. Yahoo are doing the same. Difference is Yahoo are selling everything you can just imagine... In this regard Google is a total exception though. MSN is something in between...

I can agree, however, that it is very unpleasant feeling when you pay someone to advertise your product just to find out you have to compete with their own ad...

11:37 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I was told by an AdWords rep that MSN AdCenter ads only run in the first three positions consistently and that those are rotated. The ads on the right come from various sources and are not necessarily MSN AdCenter ads. I don't know if this is true, but my impression is that you can't really bid to any position because everything is random right now.

i'm sorry about my delayed response here.

actually adCenter ads run in all positions on a page and usually there are about 8 on a page. if there aren't that many advertisers of course there won't be 8. the ads can move around from the top of the page to the right side bar if your competitors are adjusting bids, changing targeting, etc.

re: various sources - you will see either 100% adCenter ads or 100% Overture ads. you will never see a mix. right now as you probably know, adCenter ads are showing 70% of the time, and overture 30% of the time, depending on which cookie the user has.

Qawsed - have you tried going to [adcenter.search.msn.com...] to see your ads? it may be that you have the overture cookie so you're seeing overture ads. let me know.

hope that clears up some confusion. let me know how things are going...

everyone - have a great weekend.

--adCenter411

5:22 pm on May 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the info. I thought that was the case, but I was told otherwise by one of the MSN account reps when I called to ask why my ad was jumping from position 1 to 3 to not showing to 6, etc. every other search. He told me that there were ads being fed into the system from advertising companies other than Overture and that those would show up in the right column and MSN ads would always show up in the top 3.

This is his explanation for why my bid was high enough to show the ad but the ad wasn't showing up in every search on my computer. Perhaps you could offer a different explanation.