Microsoft surprised everyone on Friday by releasing their “AdCenter”:https://adcenter.msn.com/default.aspx product to the general advertising public. While the birth of a third important provider of paid search results is exciting, the overall experience at this early stage is somewhat disappointing. Many advertisers are reporting bugs with keyword selection, among other things, and some users are experiencing abnormally long delays and hang times.
h3. Targeting Canadians
The interface clearly allows users to target Canada. However it seems as though the geo-targeting feature does not display the ads only to Canadians, like “Google AdWords”:https://adwords.google.com/select/ does. Rather it allows advertisers to bid higher for canadian clicks than for other clicks. I’m not too sure how well this form of geo-targeting will be received by Canadian advertisers trying to reach a Canadian audience.
h3. The End of Yahoo Search Marketing Ads on MSN.com
Heads up for those who are advertising on Yahoo Search Marketing in the US. Microsoft has been slowly reducing the percentage of ads delivered by Yahoo Search Marketing on their network. I may be wrong, but at this time, it seems as though MSN may have dropped YSM ads altogether. Considering they currently have very few advertisers, it is somewhat surprising that they would drop YSM so soon.
h3. Rebranding from MSN to Microsoft
Other than releasing an apparently unfinished product to the general public, they also surprised many with their rebranding of MSN AdCenter as Microsoft AdCenter. While I have some ideas as to why they changed the name of the product, I would rather wait to hear the official story from Microsoft.
You can get your own “Microsoft AdCenter account”:https://adcenter.msn.com/default.aspx now and try it yourself.