Microsoft adCenter is currently launching their ‘pilot’ offering of Microsoft Content Ads which is their contextual advertising solution that displays relevant ads to the content on sites within the Microsoft network in a similar fashion to Google AdSense or Yahoo Publisher Network.
The more popular channels which are displaying these ads are MSN’s Health & Fitness, Tech & Gadgets, Travel, and Money; and Microsoft is planning on expanding the project, according to the adCenter blog.
Content Ads Choices
This week, some of our U.S. advertisers will receive an e-mail notification that their accounts will be upgraded as part of the adCenter Content Ads pilot program. If you receive this notice, your campaigns will automatically be upgraded to include distribution on content pages within the Microsoft network. Advertisers whose campaigns are upgraded will have control over their campaigns and have the following choices:
- Hybrid: Run your ads on Live Search and content pages using “hybrid” ad groups.
Your existing ad groups will automatically be set to display on content pages at your current search ad bid prices. You can also set new bids for your content clicks through the beta site.
- Turn off Content Ads.
Within the Ad Group Settings tab, under the Targeting section, click the Select a distribution method for this ad group link, and clear the Content check box. You can learn more about this option by reading our help article.
- Create content-only and search-only ad groups.
You can create a unique destination URL or have content-specific ad creative.
If you choose to run your ads on content pages, you’ll also have the ability to set separate pricing for content clicks. Content Ads uses the same bid structure as your search ads—you pay only when someone clicks your ad. However, you also have the choice of setting different bid prices for content clicks by using the Separate Bid Pricing feature within the Advanced Bidding Options. You can learn how by reading our recent in-depth post of how to set separate bid prices for Content Ads. We’ve also made it easy to track your performance for Content Ads with reporting that provides details on search performance separately from content performance.
As of now, the Microsoft Content Ads are not being displayed outside of the MSN/Live.com network, unlike Google and Yahoo contextual units; “Microsoft Content Ads are displayed only on MSN published sites, no syndicated sites, delivering the MSN audience to the advertiser.”, but one hs to wonder when adCenter will be expanding their contextual ads to the smaller publisher and if these Micorosft Content Ads will pose a future threat to YPN and AdSense.