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