Friday, June 5th, 2020

Many adCenter users have long disliked the need to set both monthly and daily spends for their PPC spends, and now it seems Microsoft has listened and are changing that. The email received today maps out their planned changes though they did not disclose all of the changes. “To help make managing your campaign budgets easier than ever, we’re planning a series of improvements to the Microsoft Advertising adCenter budget options. We’ll keep you informed as we make these improvements over the next few months, and there are steps you can take today to prepare for them,” the email started….

Microsoft is readying a new adCenter quality score for Bing/Yahoo campaigns, the adCenter Blog announced….

Since the Yahoo & MSN Search Alliance has finalized, many PPC advertisers are just now getting familiar with the Microsoft adCenter system and learning the differences between adCenter and Google AdWords. Apparently though not all transitions are smooth ones and this one is no exception….

As I mentioned last month, on of the big stories at SES San Francisco is the Microsoft Yahoo! Search Alliance, aka MicroHoo….

Microsoft’s adCenter have updated their pop-up help boxes to make them more, um, helpful. The boxes now offer a “More” link that expand the information you have access to. They also offer assistance to guide you through the task you’re embarked upon. There are also links to support and forums if you need even more information. The goal is to provide on-the-spot help instead of users having to go hunting for help. The pop-ups also now stay open until you don’t need them anymore. They’ll only close when you click the close X button, open a different pop-up, or navigate…

adCenter is enabling the ability to bid specifically for two Microsoft entities: the MSN Tech & Gadgets portal and the popular web-based email, Hotmail. Here’s how to do it: Create a new ad group, setting the bid type for Networks and websites Create your ad In the Select Placements window, choose the Websites tab Enter tech.msn.com and/or *mail.live.com Click View available placements Select the sites that you wish to bid on, then click Add. Click Continue. Set your Default bid You’re all set. adCenter offered up the following demographic details about the audience for these entities: MSN Tech & Gadgets…

So, you’ve set up your ad campaign for Bing in adCenter and now you want to know whether or not the ads are showing. Now, you can with a new feature called Ad Preview. The adCenter team has added this feature due to much request from advertisers. The Ad Preview enables advertisers to check their ads without artificially padding the impression and click data. If you find your ads showing in Ad Preview but not in a regular search, remember that you might have set demographic and/or geographic targets that you yourself do not meet. Also, you may be outbid…

Earlier this week, a report from LegitScript.com and KnujOn stated that 89.7% of Bing’s ads for online pharamacies were from illegally operating pharmacies. Microsoft’s adCenter has responded by saying the report is true, but the number of violations is substantially lower.

adCenter uses PharmacyChecker.com to verify pharmacy advertisers. PharmacyChecker.com is a competitor of LegitScript.com.

Microsoft says that the illegal pharmacies essentially hacked the system:

Based on our initial findings, we believe the advertisers noted in the report found a way to work around the PharmacyChecker.com verification process after being validated to advertise on Bing. These rogue advertisers manipulated the system by “hijacking” and/or misusing landing pages. Our internal teams are continuing to investigate how these advertisers sidestepped the policy.

adCenter is taking several steps to address the problem, including:

  • All pharma-related keywords have now been manually reviewed to sweep out any advertisers who are in violation of our policies
  • The editorial team is validating the claims in the report around “hijacking” and misuse of landing pages
  • The quality and editorial teams are reviewing our processes to document how these advertisers made their way onto our system. This documentation will likely lead to changes in process as well as product requests moving forward

What do you think of Microsoft’s response to LegitScript’s report? Do you think they’ll be able to stop the “hijackers”? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

So by now, you’ve probably heard about the Microsoft – Yahoo search deal. You may even have read my take that this will be good for advertisers. If not, go back and start there, so we’re all caught up.

I got responses from several other search marketers saying the deal looked good from their side too. We’ll be putting up a collection of industry responses later today. In the meantime, I wanted to look at the deal from a searcher perspective. Is it good for them too?

For most searchers, Google = search. They don’t know or care about the fact that Microsoft just launched a search engine, and unless they have Yahoo as their home page (likely decided by their ISP), they don’t have much use for Yahoo Search either.

Will a combined Microsoft-Yahoo search change any of that? Not likely.

“The deal is both good and bad for searchers. Bad in that there will be less choice. I personally prefer to have more options rather than less. Good for searchers in that Bing is actually a pretty good search engine,” said Amanda Watlington, owner of Searching for Profit.

Basically, it’s going to depend on just how good Bing is, and how good it will become, given the additional volume pumping through its platform. That volume should generate more relevant ads, since there will be more competition. It should also allow Microsoft to innovate with its algorithms faster, since it will have more data to work with.

Andrew Goodman, principal at Page Zero Media, agrees: “It’s a good deal for searchers. Running a high-quality consumer search property is expensive and requires constant innovation. By consolidating resources these companies can focus on their strengths,” Goodman said. “Microsoft has done a great job developing a consumer-oriented search engine in Bing. They may also have access to data from Yahoo that can help them to refine it.”

Microsoft has proven with Bing and adCenter that they can not only keep up with Google, but actually improve on what’s already out there in the marketplace. With a huge surge in traffic through those platforms, they should theoretically be able to improve on their ideas, refining their algorithms, adding features and improving relevance.

But, as has been said many times before, it’s going to take something more than just “a little better” than Google to get searchers to switch. What may happen is that Yahoo-Microsoft becomes a more credible number-two. That in itself could be good for searchers, if only because it forces Google to innovate a bit quicker, given that it’s nearest competitor will be quite a bit nearer than it’s used to.