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Frustrated - Is MSN this bad or is it me?

Willing to spend, but no performance



4:48 am on Jun 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I supposed that if I was fairly good at finding key words and writing ads at AdWords, I could pipe that experience over to MS AdCenter and somehow it would work.

Now before I rant, I've got to say it could be just my inexperience in understanding how MS is different from G AdWords, and that would place the problem on my plate. Here's why I am writing:

I took my client's AdWords campaigns over to MS pretty much in tact, ads and keywords, with bids that I guessed would give comparable placement.

After a three month test, I'm seeing these campaigns that get about 500 clicks a week from Google delivering 30-40/week from MS AdCenter. My client's good for $250/week a Google, $200 a week at Yahoo, and the MS spend -which was set at $100 week to test-- is around $20.

What I'm asking is, is this a typical experience? Should I expect about 10% -or less-- from a MS campaign vs the same at Google?

If the groups answer is yes, then I'd be tempted to up the bids in hopes of grabbing a little more audience, but that smells of wasting my client's money just to get in a fight for #1 or #2 ad placement. (We have currently been very satisfied to hold a 3 to 5 postion.)

Thank you for your thoughts or advice.

Tropical Island

10:12 am on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tropical_island is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

My spend with AdWords is around $600 per month.

With MSN under $30.


9:37 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Dear dibbern2,

I can understand the frustration that can happen when the product that you are advertising isd not displaying or performing as well as desired. I would like to help with this.

Our sponsored search results are placed on a relevancy system and the more relevant the keywords (terms) are to the searcher, results in a better the exposure and placement of your ad will be. Our automated system will display the most relevant ad out of all the advertisers bidding on the term that is being searched and if we can have your ad and keywords as relevant as possible the ad has a better chance of displaying. One of the biggest factors in relevancy is the match type that is chosen for the keywords.

We have an option that inserts your keyword into the ad copy and thus increasing the relevancy enormously. Research shows that customers respond better to online ads that use the same terms that they used to search. For example, customers who search for "baseball gloves" typically respond more to ad titles that use the term "baseball gloves" instead of "sporting equipment."

Microsoft adCenter also provides several options to help you improve ad exposure. If you want to increase the chance that certain parts of your audience will be shown your ad, you can adjust the following variables:
- Geographical location
- Day of the week
- Time of day (morning, afternoon, or night)
- Age and gender

For assistance please feel free to contact support and they can assist you with any above mentioned items.

Support Phone Number: 1-800-518-5689 - 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM PT

Hope This helps!



10:37 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

MSN search is a very legit property. The clicks probably convert better then Google and their search partners.


11:54 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

ispy: I have no complaint with MSN convert quality, but its hard to judge when the CTR is so dismal.

adCenterrep: I appreciate the reply. Let me study your recommendations and try them in my campaigns. Might sticky you if I get stuck...


7:19 pm on Jul 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

MSN ad traffic is horrible.

I see Google results in the live search results all the time. That pretty bad when Live has to pull google search results to show some decent results.

People don't use it has much because it's a horrible search engine.

Jerry Nordstrom

1:54 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I agree that traffic volume has always been the issue with Adcenter.

The other issue has been our attention to Adcenter. How many of us really work Adcenter the way we work Adwords? Sure, adwords is the cash cow so we pay attention to it. However, MSN adcenter has increased its reach with premium content partners, not a junk click publishers network like YPN, and is doing a lot to promote the live.com site.

In addition to that they have developed some great tools, such as the "desktop editor" ACE and Ad intelligence add-in for XL. (beta and pilot stage products). Yahoo has yet to do this.

Do you have the same number of campaigns and adgroups in Adcenter as you do Adwords? Have you built out robust negative KW's? Have you optimized ads? Have you done KW analysis and weighted your portfolio of KWs? Are you using any of the Geo and Demo increase bid tools?

Our traffic volume and conversion volume has increased dramatically since June 08 since we increased our focus and started using these new tools.

You can join the beta of the adcenter "offline editor" ACE

A $100 or $20 "test" is a very small amount of data to try and make an analysis with. You may need to give it more time, or spend more money to collect the amount of data you need to make an accurate assessment.

Adcenter is no Adwords and Live.com is no Google, however MSN is starting to come on strong with quality traffic and meaningful toolsets. They have more Geo/Demo data than Google to support their targeting features. I would recommend you ask yourself if the past slow volume has caused you to put Adcenter on the back burner and this could be the reason behind the lagging performance.

If so, take another run at it. After all, it looks like this is coming down to a two Pony race so you better get familiar with Adcenter.



4:34 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This may seem simplistic, but are people using the same "ad content" titles/descriptions for adwords and adcenter. I've noticed the title text for adcenter ads to be less enticing to click.
Only my 2cents and no offical testing, just what I have observed.


1:41 pm on Aug 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Morning Everyone,

Please also note that we have adCenter Support available for the US residents (and other markets as well) and they are a great way to have someone who is familiar with adCenter and how to best optimize your accounts to achieve the desired exposure/CTR that you may have with Google.

They are available from 6:00am through 6:00pm PST seven days a week. There is also our ‘best practice’ that you can be walked through or just a general walk through on your account so that you can use all the available tools that are there. (800) 518-5689

If you do not have the time to make the call, please submit a e-form and one of our Email representatives can review the account and respond via email.


For the larger accounts ($500.00+ monthly budget) you can request to have a specialist contact you and they will work with you for a set time frame. By having a Media Specialist, they can then devote the time needed to really see what can be done to get your account running up to its maximum ability.

I highly recommend that you contact us and we can assist in getting that performance up and increasing your return on investment.

Have a Great Day Everyone!


8:11 am on Sep 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Although I'm UK based,almost all my campaigns/ad groups are targeted at the US. I do find the traffic converts well, I'm not sure what if anything they are doing in the US but I wish they would push the marketing of MSN search more so we could see more volume.


1:03 am on Oct 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This week I looked at my MSN adcenter campaign, didnt look at it for awhile and found that they were sending me about 4000 clicks a month, costing me around $4500/mo. Guess how many people converted? 10.. The same thing campaign on Adwords does about 50x better. And I'm not kidding!

I just don't understand how a search engine like LIVE, according to alexa is ranked as good or even better than Google, but gives the WORST ROI. There is virtually no conversions on adcenter.

I like to also add that they still need to fix their GUI up, it's still cumbersome, for example, when I login to adwords, I see all my campaigns. I can choose how much it cost me yesterday, last 7 days etc.

Iin adcenter, I login and I see a brief overview of my campaign stats, however its useless. They should have made it go directly to the campaign screen. As an advertiser all I'm interested in is seeing my campaign performance and having the ability to choose dates without having to dig in further. This is the same issue on Yahoo as well, it seems both of them suffer from sensible "good UI" design.


1:49 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

np2003, I've had totally the opposite experience to you - our conversion rates are much MUCH higher than with Adwords, but the traffic is absolutely minimal (and we have a big account on each provider with over 200,00 KWs on each). The entire user interface is the pits though - full of bugs

[edited by: James_WV at 1:51 pm (utc) on Jan. 7, 2009]


7:39 pm on Jan 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've had the same experience..but especially in the health care space. We spoke with our rep and she said that less folks may search health stuff at work, and nost msn searchers are at work..just thought i'dmention that


5:01 am on Feb 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

This may seem simplistic, but are people using the same "ad content" titles/descriptions for adwords and adcenter. I've noticed the title text for adcenter ads to be less enticing to click.
Only my 2cents and no offical testing, just what I have observed.


12:28 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

MSN will not allow more than 500 adgroups/campaign. So, if you are doing heavy duty PPC, like 10K kw and a couple thousand adgroups, forget it.


4:25 pm on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

For the $500M+ in annual SEM ad spend going through our system, 75% of the spend goes to Google and 4% to MSN, which means roughly 20X more traffic for Google than MSN.


3:26 pm on Jun 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

With the new bing and the cashback so prominent on the page, if your an affiliate marketer using eBay, you might as well throw your money in the trash. That's going to kill a lot of ad revenue on their part.


11:42 pm on Jun 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

<rant on>
Please also note that we have adCenter Support available for the US residents (and other markets as well)

if this is is the case with regard to "international" then please have the good sense to also use non "800" numbers for "support" as these frequently cannot be accessed from outside of north America ( most of Europe cannot ..unless they are to a specific european country 800 number ) ..try giving ..and maybe posting here ? ..normal telephone numbers that can then be contacted by international customers via their ISP supplied and included ."VOIP services" and or "skype" ..

I do business with many US based companies ..( hosting, registration, supplies , retailers, advertisers etc etc ) however they must have a phone number I can reach ..from here either included in my VOIP package ..or on "my dime" ..none of the USA free phone numbers can be reached from France ..we get a french language message which translates to "we regret but the international freephone number you have dialed is not available from here, thank you for your understanding" ..
I presume that the equivalent is what other Europeans get when they try to phone USA freephone numbers ..

You want to do business with me ..give me a phone number that I can talk to from here ..even if I have to pay the call ..In the USA you call them "local" numbers ..

Given the international reach of microsoft ( dont worry you are not the only US company that "overlooks" this simple fact ..I'm amazed that your local ( French ,German or UK or Italian or Spanish etc etc haven't mentioned it ..although I do know that MS France don't give a rats rear end about customer service so maybe it's wide spread ..that they dont tell the mothership what the European customers want or think ) ..anyway ..want us to spend ?..give us international customers a non "800" support or sales number ..

This applies to all US companies ..want our international money ..give us an alternative to "freephone" "800" .we'll even pay the call ..and your bottom lines get better ..we pay for good service ..price is secondary ..my US hosters and the US domain registry companies , US suppliers and US people we supply can testify to this .
</rant off>


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