Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft adCenter’

The Future of Yahoo Search Marketing Desktop?

September 15, 2010

It seems like just yesterday when Yahoo released its Search Marketing Desktop – Yahoo’s answer to Google’s Adwords Editor.

While Yahoo’s new paid search campaign management tool came several years after Adwords Editor, it was a welcome relief for those of us who manage search accounts with lots of campaigns and keywords.

With Yahoo’s recent announced shuttering of the Yahoo Ambassador program after selling its search business to Microsoft – another question remains: What is Yahoo going to do with its Search Marketing Desktop paid search management tool?

Yahoo Search Marketing Desktop

Yahoo Search Marketing Desktop

To my knowledge, Microsoft doesn’t yet have a comparable search management tool available or in development.

It would be nice if Yahoo’s Search Marketing Desktop ported directly to Microosoft’s adCenter but I am not counting on it.

Will Yahoo’s advertisers soon receive an email notifying them the Search Marketing Desktop will be mothballed at some point in the near future?

If so, it won’t be a surprise but what a waste.

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Search Advertising Competitive Offer from Microsoft adCenter

July 2, 2009

I received the following email offer from Microsoft adCenter promoting search advertising with Microsoft.

From: Microsoft adCenter [media@microsoftadvertising.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 2009 6:58 PM
To: Search Advertiser
Subject: Don’t miss out on free clicks when you let us upload your next search campaign

To ensure that you continue to receive Microsoft adCenter communications, please add our domain (@microsoftadvertising.com) to your safe senders list.

Dear Search Advertiser,

Time is running out on our birthday celebration offer. Our gift to you: We’ll upload one of your campaigns from another search advertising program to Microsoft adCenter—for free!—and you’ll receive a coupon worth $15 in free clicks. 1

How does your free upload work?

Signing up couldn’t be simpler. You’re just a click away. Our birthday offer ends July 6, 2009, so please act fast!

1.  Sign up on our adCenter Anniversary web form.
2.  You’ll receive an e-mail message containing details about how to send us your exported competitive search engine campaign.
3.  One of our Search Specialists will upload your campaign to your adCenter account.
4.  You’ll receive a confirmation that your campaign upload is complete.
5.  Simply activate your campaign, and then use your promotion code to receive $15 in free clicks.

Extend your reach with adCenter
Your adCenter campaign upload can help you expand your search advertising reach with:

*   Higher-quality clicks: adCenter can offer you a more targeted audience, which can mean more clicks from the customers you want.
*   Better conversions: Consumers who click adCenter ads can be three times more likely to engage than those who click Google ads. 2

If you have any questions, contact us at (800) 518-5689, Monday through Saturday, from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Pacific Time. Please keep this e-mail for your records to refer to offer details. We look forward to working with you to upload your next adCenter campaign!

Sincerely,

The Microsoft adCenter Team

1 Offer details: Offer valid only for new campaigns submitted by July 6, 2009, that go live by July 15, 2009 (midnight Pacific Time). Participation in this program is limited and this offer is being extended at the sole discretion of adCenter to existing customers of adCenter who are original recipients of this e-mail from Microsoft. Any portion of ad credit not used within 90 days from the date the credit was applied to your adCenter account will expire. Ads must be stopped after ad credit is used up or within 90 days from the time ad credit was applied to your adCenter account, whichever comes first, or your credit card/invoice will be charged for advertising clicks. Offer valid for residents of the 50 United States and Washington, D.C., only. Limit: one ad credit and one free campaign upload per adCenter customer. Offer may not be combined with any other offers or discounts, separated, redeemed for cash, transferred, sold, or bartered. There is a minimum bid requirement of $0.05 per click-through when using adCenter. Search or Contextual Advertising listings are subject to editorial review. See Microsoft Advertiser Terms and Conditions for more details. Other terms and conditions may apply. This offer may be terminated by adCenter at any time and without notice.

Upload requirements: A new campaign is defined as a campaign containing broadly different keywords and ads when compared to others that are live on adCenter. A new campaign must have a minimum of 150 keywords. Campaign names must not exceed 100 characters and ad group names must not exceed 60 characters in adCenter. If adCenter receives files exceeding character limits, it may be renamed to reduce length by removing any additional characters, except where this would duplicate another campaign or ad group name. Subject to all necessary data being accurately submitted by you and your compliance with Microsoft adCenter Terms and Conditions, and the Offer Details above, your unique promotional code will be sent via e-mail to you by Microsoft which will enable you to redeem your ad credit.

2 Conversion is defined as a web visitor entering into a secure session on a website. comScore Quality of Click Custom Study (MSN – Windows Live Search), March – May 2008.

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

Interesting strategy.

Why doesn’t Microsoft promote this on the Bing home page?

Microsoft adCenter Spring Update

May 27, 2009

Microsoft adCenter has added several new features this spring to help advertisers: 1).  Save time managing their campaigns, 2). Give them more control over content ads distribution, and 3). Efficiently maintain their accounts to help improve performance.

Specifically the Microsoft adCenter Spring Upgrade gives advertisers the ability to:

•    Apply customer targets and incremental bids at the campaign level.

•    Generate new keywords with improved research and refinement tools.

•    Set and monitor bids with the improved default bid feature.

•    Exclude up to 500 websites where you do not want your content ads to appear.

Microsoft adCenter believes these new feature will help advertisers’ supercharge their ROI.

Interview with Dr. Qi Lu; President, Microsoft Online Services Group

December 11, 2008

Microsoft’s PressPass recently interviewed Dr. Qi Lu, the new President of Microsoft’s Online Service Group about his plans for taking Microsoft’s search products to the next level.

Microsoft Dr. Qi Lu

Microsoft Dr. Qi Lu

Source – Microsoft PressPass

Prior to joining Microsoft, Dr. Lu was executive vice president of Engineering for the Search and Advertising Technology Group at Yahoo. Prior to his 10 years at Yahoo, Lu was a Research Staff Member at IBM’s Almaden Research Center. He also has worked at Carnegie Mellon University as a Research Associate and at Fudan University in China as a faculty member. Lu holds 20 U.S. patents, and received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in computer science from Fudan University in Shanghai, and his Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Excerpts from Microsoft’s PressPass interview with Dr. Lu:

PressPass: Where do you see the opportunities for Microsoft in the search and online space?

Lu: First, I think there is a genuine opportunity to take our search products to the next level. I see that Microsoft’s search product quality is improving at a very, very fast rate, that there are great foundations there. And with the technology base, the talent base, the computing infrastructures, I’m confident that we will be in a position to produce a differentiated and compelling search experience.

The second opportunity is to continue building a very powerful advertising platform. Microsoft has made a series of strategic acquisitions, and also built a bunch of internal technologies and products. The key is to put all those assets together to build powerful, highly scalable advertising platforms. The advertising we see today will be very different in the future because of new platforms for it. Ads will be truly relevant and useful, and the experience will be compelling.

PressPass: Whenever anyone talks about competition in search, the target always is Google. Are they catchable?

Lu: Well, we’re here to win, and my view on this is that to win in the search space, fundamentally you build on the strengths of your product. And we know what it takes to build a compelling user experience and winning product, which is to have a powerful infrastructure, great talent and put great processes in place so that we can out-develop, out-market, out-innovate our competitors.

But make no mistake; I think Google is a very, very powerful company. They are definitely ahead in the search space. There are a lot of challenges ahead. We’ve got our work cut out for us.

It will be interesting to see in which direction Microsoft heads with ex-Yahoo Dr. Lu at the Microsoft search helm.

Will Microsoft resume talks to acquire Yahoo’s search business?

Will Microsoft continue developing their own search product?

Or – will Microsoft now attempt to accomplish both (buy Yahoo’s search business and migrate Yahoo search advertisers to adCenter while attempting to improve Microsoft’s search and advertising products) in their quest to catch Google?

Geotargeting Brand Search Marketing

November 14, 2008

I am working on the following presentation for brand search marketers:

“GeoTarget Your Brand Advertising for Maximum Search Market Penetration and Retail Traffic Generation”

This brand search marketing presentation will cover the following topics:

• How to GeoTarget brand search advertising to drive retail traffic and sales by utilizing the four main search advertising platforms to build maximum brand search presence in yours or your resellers trade areas.

• A side by side comparison of the four main search advertising platforms Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, Microsoft adCenter and Ask Sponsored Listings along with their geotargeting options and features.

• The opportunities and limitations of each search advertising platform’s geotargeting product.

Overall, my presentation will show brand managers how to maximize the effectiveness of their brand advertising budget while increasing  brand lift.

Brand marketers who establish a search brand presence through the creation of comprehensive geotargeted search advertising campaigns will expand their competitive reach and advantage over their competitors who don’t.

I will post a more detailed presentation outline here in the near future.

Geotargeting Search Advertising in Microsoft adCenter

October 12, 2008

In a previous post I wrote about the differences I found between the four major search engines Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask and their search advertising geo-targeting options.

I stated Microsoft didn’t offer geotargeted search advertising options to its advertisers.

However, Dave Naffziger pointed out Microsoft AdCenter’s geotargeting features can be found under the “edit ad group settings” instead of the “edit campaigns settings” like in Google, Yahoo and Ask.

The following are screen shots of Microsoft adCenter’s geotargeting capabilities:

Like with other search advertising platforms, Microsoft ads can be targeted by country or region and then targeted specifically to cities within a region.

Microsoft Adcenter Geotargeting

Microsoft Adcenter Geotargeting

Although Microsoft lists all countries worldwide available for targeting, only five countries can be selected for geo-targeting search advertising through Microsoft’s adCenter at this time.

The five countries are:

The United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Singapore.

Microsoft Adcenter Country Targeting

Microsoft Adcenter Country Targeting

Once a country or region has been selected, advertisers can select a limited number of cities within each state to distribute their ads to.

Microsoft Adcenter Ad Group Geotargeting

Microsoft Adcenter Ad Group Geotargeting

Advertisers can’t target their ads specifically for distribution at the state level like they can in Google, Yahoo and Ask.

Microsoft Adcenter Geotargeting States or Cities

Microsoft Adcenter Geotargeting States or Cities

Once a city or cities have been selected for geotargeted search advertising, adCenter then provides a map of the targeted area.

Microsoft Adcenter Geotargeting Bellevue WA

Microsoft Adcenter Geotargeting Bellevue WA

I haven’t yet been able to get the adCenter map to display any of the locations of my geotargeted ads.

adCenter search advertising features still require further development before they will match the features and functionality already available from the other three major search advertising providers.

Search Advertising Geo Targeting Options

October 3, 2008

If targeting local and mobile search advertising is the future growth drivers for search advertising providers, then Google and its Adwords geo-targeting features are in the driver’s seat when compared to its three closest search advertising rivals Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask.com.

Below I outline each providers’ offerings not according to their search advertising market share but instead according to their level of geotargeted advertising product development.

Google’s advertising product and its geo-targeting capabilities have one distinct yet obvious feature the other’s lack:

An actual map for geo-targeting the location of your ads and where they will be shown!

Google Search Advertising Country Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Country Geotargeting

With Google Adwords, advertisers can target their ads one country at a time through Google’s Country Geotargeting tab, or choose to bundle their ads for display in multiple countries at once with Adwords Bundle Geotargeting feature.

Google Search Advertising Bundle Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Bundle Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Bundle Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Metro Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Metro Geotargeting

Google Adwords advertisers who advertise in specific markets nationally or regionally can target their ads by metropolitan area or by city.

Although not referenced, Google’s metropolitan area targeting looks slightly similar to the Designated Market Area system developed by Nielsen Media Research which incorporates Nielsen’s broadcast media markets and distribution scheme.

For its City geotargeting option, Google surrounds the target city with a square.

Google Search Advertising Custom Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Custom Geotargeting

Google custom geotargeting by far provides the highest level of geotargeting available from any search advertising provider.

Custom geotargeting lets advertisers create their own custom advertising distribution area within any market.

Google search advertisers can simply point and click three or more points on their advertising map and Google does the rest for them – creating a custom advertising distribution area through latitude and longitude coordinates.

How do the other search advertising providers’ geo-targeting features stack up compared with Google’s?

Yahoo and Ask both offer advertising geo-targeting options but both to a lesser degree.

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting

Yahoo offers geotargeting to it advertisers by account market area and specific regions. Account market area is established by the advertising account holder when the open their account. Both account market area and specific region areas are organized by country, state, province or territory.

The Yahoo specific region feature geotargets its advertising through the Designated Market Areas system licensed from Nielsen Media Research.

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting Mapview

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting Mapview

Where is the Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting Map?

Yahoo offers a Map View tab of specific regions geotargeted by its advertisers yet I haven’t ever been able to view an actual Yahoo map showing where my advertising has been geo-targeted and placed.

I can’t imagine why Yahoo search marketing would place a “Map View” tab in their Campaign settings geo-targeting page yet not actually provide a map view.

Ask Search Advertising Geotargeting

Ask Search Advertising Geotargeting

Ask provides its advertisers with Location targeting which is also based on Nielsen’s Designated Market Area system.

Ask doesn’t provide a map showing advertisers locations of their geo-targeted advertising.

However, and to its credit – Ask does provide a geotargeting feature direct marketers like myself would like to see from other search advertising providers like Google Adwords – Postal Code targeting.

Postal Code Targeting or Zip Code targeting here in the US would allow direct marketers and brands alike another level of advertising targeting, delivery and thus control.
At this point you may be wondering why I chose to cover Microsoft’s adCenter search advertising geotargeting product last even though it has a larger share of the search market than Ask.

Why have I listed Microsoft’s advertising geotargeting product development last?

Because Microsoft’s search advertising product does not offer its advertisers geotargeting options let alone any other kind of geographic ad targeting.

Microsoft Search Advertising Geotargeting

Microsoft Search Advertising Geotargeting

Will Microsoft ever offer advertising geo-targeting features to its advertisers?

If not, why?

Microsoft adCenter: No Cost Per Conversion Data

September 15, 2008

Is there a particular reason why the Microsoft adCenter doesn’t provide a cost per conversion column for its advertisers?

Microsoft adCenter Cost Per Conversion

Microsoft adCenter Cost Per Conversion

The Microsoft adCenter dashboard displays ad group name, ad group start date, ad group end date, status, spend, impressions, clicks, ctr %, average position, conversions, average cpc and negative keywords.

adCenter data does show number of conversions – just not their cost. This unnecessarily creates an extra level of interpretation and work for advertisers.

Why?

If an advertiser wants to manage and understand their advertising campaign’s effectiveness through cost per conversion data – Microsoft through its omission of this metric – leaves advertisers to make their own calculations… or not.

Is this a lack of transparency in Microsoft’s adCenter?

If it is, Microsoft’s not providing its advertisers with acquisition cost data makes calculating their return on investment more difficult.

Both Google and Yahoo supply this type of data.

Surely this is just an oversight on Microsoft’s part.

If it is an oversight, adding cost per conversion data in the Microsoft adCenter dashboard would help Microsoft’s advertisers understand more about their campaigns acquisition costs and in turn their return on investment from advertising with Microsoft.

Surely providing this data in column form would be in the best interest of both Microsoft and its advertisers.