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Playing PPC Catch Up: Microsoft AdCenter

Taking a look at the history of PPC and comparing it with today’s market, you can see the complete 180 that the space has taken. Starting with Goto, to Overture, and into today’s platforms. Things have changed, and I’m not just talking about the bidding system. The top players have completely changed, and the MSN/Yahoo partnership has the potential to force change yet again.

First off, I’m not a huge fan of the MSN/Yahoo “partnership.” Or I wasn’t a fan. What can I say, I’m an “oldie” when it comes to PPC. Yahoo is the oldest in the market, PPC and Search actually, and it just seems like they are lying down. </rant>

What I am seeing about the merger partnership that is positive is the move to take the Yahoo PPC program and move it into the AdCenter platform. I see this as a positive because the Panama change was just horrible in so many ways. On the other hand, AdCenter has been working very hard to get their offering up to par with industry leader Google AdWords.

Here are some things I’ve seen change and LOVE:

  • AdCenter Desktop Editor – My only qualm here is that this is only for PC (come ON Microsoft, stop it, we are computer users too, and no this is not making me want to buy a PC).
  • Client/Agency Relationships – You can now add someone as an “agency” and either side can terminate the relationship when it is no longer active. You are no longer bound to an agencies master account.
  • Search Query Performance Report – AdCenter followed Google’s lead here, and it’s my favorite report ever. Thank you!
  • AdCenter Blog – I love the people at MSN AdCenter. They keep giving awesome tips for advertisers. Subscribe. Trust me.

Areas I can still see for improvement:

  • Support Your Competitors Products – They aren’t your competitors when it comes to your advertising. Get over it, k?
    • Mac Support for Excel Plugin and Desktop Editor (while you’re at it can you tell the Excel people to make Excel Mac like Excel PC? Thanx.)
    • Google Chrome Support (it works, but can we remove the warning?)
  • Import Function from and to Google AdWords – Meeting of the minds. You can haz it. Go into your own account with AdWords and find a fix. Hey AdWords, you do the same, k?
  • Loading Time on the Web Interface – Things are just slow. Sorry, it makes it hard to work in the web interface still. The new Navigation tab is there, yes, but it’s still too slow.
  • Change Match Types – There is no easy way to change keyword match types. Small but very important in the web interface.

Overall I am pleased as punch with the way things are going over there. I think they are a little bogged down with the transition right now, but I can’t wait to see what is coming from them in the second half of the year. Hold onto your hats, I think they are setting up to give AdWords a run for its money. If you haven’t tested the platform recently, give it a spin. The traffic is still low, but with the merger partnership with Yahoo, things might improve soon.

9e03625ddbbe84607a06e47104058deb 64 Playing PPC Catch Up: Microsoft AdCenter
Kate Morris is an SEO Consultant for Distilled Consulting in Seattle, WA. You can find her on twitter @katemorris.
9e03625ddbbe84607a06e47104058deb 64 Playing PPC Catch Up: Microsoft AdCenter

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5 thoughts on “Playing PPC Catch Up: Microsoft AdCenter

  1. Great article Kate! We hear you on the areas we need to improve. Our community team makes sure we pick up this kind of feedback and gets it straight back to the adCenter dev teams.

    Couple of things to add: We’re on Twitter @adCenter and regularly help people out via the power of social media and we have a training resource at http://www.adexcellence.com where you can get the full low down on how to get the most from your adCenter camapaigns.

    Cheers and I’m sure we’ll bump into you at an search conference somewhere in the world soon.

    Mel

  2. I share your thoughts on most of these same issues and for me personally the Adcenter Desktop Tool has been headache from the start. It never really has worked correctly and support always wants me to go through numerous reinstalls, reboots, etc. so I finally just gave up. On the other hand I'm actually pretty impressed with the YSM Desktop Tool, maybe they should bring that over in the partnership.

  3. Nice to know Clarke. I do like the Yahoo tool, and too am hoping that they can use that in the new PPC platform, or at least the ability to let Mac users at it. I am just hoping that the more we sound out about issues, the more they will fix. They've done good so far at that, just hoping it continues. :)

  4. You're crazy! Everything about the Adcenter desktop and Adcenter online platform fail miserably.

    When managing 100's of campaigns and tens of thousands of keywords, it is impossible to manage anything in Adcenter in a timely manor. I feel like I have blinders on when using the Adcenter management tools.

    The Google Adwords Editor and the Yahoo Desktop have a long way to go but have come a long way. At least with those tools data can be quickly analyzed and changes can be implemented and the results follow.

    Adcenter is junk, it's buggy and I agree it feels as if Yahoo is waving the white flag to Microsoft. A case study would prove that Adcenter is a horrible platform in comparison and it deserves to be put in a software graveyard.

  5. You're crazy! Everything about the Adcenter desktop and Adcenter online platform fail miserably.

    When managing 100's of campaigns and tens of thousands of keywords, it is impossible to manage anything in Adcenter in a timely manor. I feel like I have blinders on when using the Adcenter management tools.

    The Google Adwords Editor and the Yahoo Desktop have a long way to go but have come a long way. At least with those tools data can be quickly analyzed and changes can be implemented and the results follow.

    Adcenter is junk, it's buggy and I agree it feels as if Yahoo is waving the white flag to Microsoft. A case study would prove that Adcenter is a horrible platform in comparison and it deserves to be put in a software graveyard.