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  1. #1
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    June 8th, 2006
    Confusion about MSN adCenter new Terms & Conditions
    My apologies if you already saw this post as a reply in simcat's "Adcenter WTF?" thread. I thought it'd get better exposure in its own thread with a more appropriate title.

    If you're an MSN adCenter PPC advertiser and just got their email yesterday listing very vague new Terms & Conditions changes, and it made you scratch your head in confusion, I managed to get some clarification today after I spoke to an adCenter support rep.

    Changes in T&C in the April 30 email:

    - Microsoft may use matching criteria other than keyword searches to display your advertisements.
    - Microsoft may display your advertisements on its network of advertising channels operated by the Microsoft network of participating websites and other distribution outlets.
    It turns out that these changes only affect ad groups which have Content Ads turned on, to account for the fact that Content Ads show in other places besides the search engine sponsored results. Search-only ads are not affected and should display as they have in the past.

    It should be noted that advertisers who have been converted to the new adCenter system (should be almost everyone by now), which now has both Search Ads and Content Ads, have the Content Ads option in all their existing campaigns and ad groups automatically turned on. If you don't want your ads showing in their new content network, you'll have to do either one of two things:

    (1) Go through each and every ad group in every campaign you want to be opted out of Content, and uncheck the "Content" checkbox (which is within the "Ad Group Settings" tab, then click on the second "Advanced options" blue link where you'll see the two "Select ad distribution" checkboxes). Or,

    (2) Contact adCenter support and have them opt you out of Content for all of your ad groups, saving you lots of time.

    Unfortunately, it's set to opt in to Content by default. Also there's adgroup-level control but no campaign-level control for ad distribution (i.e. Search and Content checkboxes). I asked the support rep to pass on feedback to the developers to please have a campaign-level option available.

    So bear in mind: every time you create a new ad group, whether it's in a new campaign or an existing campaign, remember to turn off the Content checkbox if you don't want your ads showing on the content network. I have no idea how well the content network converts, since even though I was in the Content Ads pilot program I turned them off immediately. I'm not a fan of content ads in general because they have a lower conversion rate than search ads in my experience, but your mileage may vary. If you allow your ads to be shown in Content, keep a close watch to see how well they're converting.

    I'd be interested in feedback from anyone who decides to run content ads with MSN and can keep track of their conversion rate separately from search. There seems to be no easy way that I can figure out to lower your content bids in one quick action within a campaign or ad group, like you can do on Google AdWords. The adCenter bids can be changed using the Edit Bids button in the Keywords Performance tab as you would normally change individual bids. But it would be extremely tedious changing the keywords having a match type of "Content" one by one, even if you sort them so that all Content keywords are listed together. Hopefully Microsoft will add functionality to change them more easily.

    As I said I'm not a fan of content ads so I won't be using them unless/until they prove to be relatively well-converting for affiliates.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Cool ... thanks for the clarification to new terms post.
    Ray Thomas
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    ABW Board Category: Programming / Coding

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