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MSN currently offers keyword-targeting search results in the "Sponsored Sites" section of the search results page at the top and bottom of the page. These are link placements that are limited to three paid clients per keyword and are available to advertisers with a minimum annual spend of $75,000.
MSN has partnered with Overture to provide businesses a quick and easy option for including their link in the "Sponsored Sites" sections of the search results page.
If I read this right, I can get a sponsored listing at the top and bottom of the page if I sign up with MSN and the ads on the right side of the page come from Overture?
Open only to U.S. residents employed as search advertising professionals, search marketers and small business owners in the US. See full rules for details.You think they would open it up to more people.
MSN currently relies on Overture to populate most of its sponsored links. But MSN does have a contract available for advertisers willing to spend a lot of money (~$75k)over an extended period of time. This will allow the advertiser to jump right to the top in positioning on MSN, over any Overture ad. For any given keyword, only three slots are available for this service. Relative positioning is determined by the advertisers' overall spend with MSN (including Shopping, etc).
Here are the downsides:
Keywords are negotiated up front and are part of the contract.
MSN will run an analysis on those keywords, weight-averaging the current costs to quote you an average CPC that you will pay on ALL of your keywords. This will also be part of the contract.
You have a limited time to alter your list, ad copy, and links, but after 30 days you basically have no opportunity to optimize or alter your listings.
MSN agrees that this system is very outdated and manual from their end, and will be launching their own PPC solution similar to Google's later this year. I've seen a demo, and some of the features are pretty cool.