Playing PPC Catch Up: Microsoft AdCenter

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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Relationships – You can now add someone as an “agency” and either side can terminate the relationship when it is no longer active.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.

Kate Morris
Kate Morris is an SEO Consultant for Distilled Consulting in Seattle, WA. You can find her on twitter @katemorris.
Kate Morris

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