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adCenter: still not ready for prime time

5:19 pm on Aug 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

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

joined:Mar 30, 2005
votes: 222

I'm not exactly a newbie at this. Those of you who frequent the AdWords forum know me. I used to run some small adCenter accounts, but they were very time consuming and difficult to manage, so I paused them for all my clients. It just wasn't worth the time I had to spend on them.

So what with Bing and the Yahoo deal, I thought I'd revisit, particularly since I heard there's now a desktop tool

Here's my experience so far trying to get adCenter up and running.

1. My browser of choice is Chrome. Of course, that doesn't work - a popup comes right up and says it isn't supported. I'm not terribly surprised.

2. I try to access the site in IE8. I get a 500 internal server error. I've tried this on three different computers. Emails with support tell me it must be on my end. Sorry, but I'm pretty sure *I* am not the one generating 500 server errors.

3. I email support asking about the desktop client (I can finally get into my old account with Firefox) They send back instructions on how to download the desktop client. That link goes to a 404 page. In two different connections. Plus it apparently requires an extension for Firefox (which they included a link for) but the extension is not compatible with the current version of Firefox (3.5.2) - which is what I run.

4. I sum all this up for my support email and send it back to them (also apparently their email system *still* doesn't work with Microsoft Outlook, because you can't reply to their emails - it won't fill in the To: field) and I get an email saying the issues have been escalated, sorry for your frustration, we're now closing the issue. Closing the issue?

5. After a lot of futzing around (and some *very* long load times - sometimes 3 to 5 minutes for a page to refresh, and sometimes it doesn't refresh at all - I have to log out, close the browser, and start all over again) I get one of my old campaigns up and running. I figure out how to upload the ads and keywords from my AdWords campaign, and update the bids. It runs. Now I want to make some mass changes to the bids. I upload the spreadsheet again with the new bids, and it *says* it's successful, but the bids haven't changed at all. Apparently if I want to edit the bids, I have to do it manually, one at a time? I have one client with over 100,000 keywords in it! Another has 55,000 keywords. I can't do things one at a time...?

So, to sum up -

I can't use Chrome or IE8 for accessing adCenter.

I can use Firefox, but even if I could *get* the desktop client (which page 404's) it's not going to work for me because the required extension won't work with the current version of Firefox.

The site is so slow (on a cablemodem connection) to be pretty much unusable.

There doesn't appear to be any easy way to make mass keyword updates (using all three match types) or at least if there is, I can't find it and it won't take my upload.

When I send in these issues to support, they say sorry for your frustration and close the ticket.

Look, I spend a pretty sizable amount of money on behalf of a dozen or so clients with Google. Almost every single one of my clients would be willing to spend money on adCenter too - *IF* it pays. Three or four hours to set up what takes ten minutes in AdWords does not make sense. So we're going to pass, maybe revisit in another year.

For all the complaints one hears, AdWords does make at least some effort to get my business, and to make it relatively easy to spend lots of money with them.

I shouldn't have to install a ton of software to run ads on Bing.

I shouldn't have to wait three to five minutes for pages to load, constantly refresh because the page is half loaded, or close out the browser and log back on.

I shouldn't have leave my browser of choice.

I shouldn't have to come here and vent because support decided they can't solve any of the issues so they'll close it.

I shouldn't have spend tons of time looking for ways (and realizing there are none) to bulk edit a lot of bids.

I shouldn't have to THINK or WORRY about any of this - I SHOULD be able to set up my campaigns, upload my keywords, edit my bids, and spend tens or hundreds of thousands per month on Bing like I do on Google.

Maybe next year.

6:36 pm on Aug 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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joined:May 29, 2003
votes: 73

I have wondered about whether or not MS could be successful in this "new" endeavor. Based upon what I have observed, how they have handled Windows, and bloatware, and their inability to implement Internet standards, gave me great cause for concern. You have just highlighted these concerns.

Is it the troops? Have they hired the wrong people?
Is it the leadership? Or lack thereof?
Is it the entrenched "groupthink" management structure?
Is innovation prevented by myopic vision from the top?

I have thought that their only hope is to copy, copy, copy, since Google is SO GOOD at what they do. But they don't seem to want to do that. They seem to be following in Yahoo's footsteps of - don't fix anything. Just leave it alone, it will be all right.

No, I am afraid it won't be all right. Wishing and hoping isn't going to cut it. They need to ACT. Do things. Fix stuff. You have highlighted just how far away they are from doing that.

First and foremost, they need to lose the ego, and stop trying to make the Internet in their own image. They absolutely refuse to grasp the most fundamental aspect of the Internet - CROSS PLATFORM COMPATIBILITY. Until they take this most basic step, they are doomed to failure.

If it ain't MicroSoft, it ain't Internet. WRONG!