As interest in Bing continues, and with the pending launch of the Microsoft/Yahoo paid search partnership, advertising in Microsoft adCenter PPC is becoming more viable. One concern is that adCenter does not allow one to opt-in/opt-out of their Search Network Partners. Here is a breakdown of the big three and their options for Ad Placement. On all three ad platforms, advertising on the Search or Content Network is optional on a campaign-by-campaign basis. Once you decide to use a given network, however, the details begin to vary:
|Network||Yahoo Sponsored Search||MS adCenter|
|Search||Ad Display is:|
|SE Owned And Operated Sites||Optional||Optional||Optional|
|Search Partners||Opt with Search||Opt with Search||Required with Search|
|Content||Ad Display is:|
|Run of Network||Optional||Optional||Optional|
SE Owned and Operated Sites – sites owned by the Search Engines (e.g. msn.com, YouTube.com) as well as the main Search Sites themselves
Search Partners – sites owned by others that show search results from the search engine(s)
Run of Network – Ads are displayed across all partner sites based on the content of the page – not as the result of an active search
Opt-in Placement – Content ads are displayed on a given site only if that site is provided by name in a whitelist, perhaps with separate bidding on a site-by-site basis.
Opt-out Placement – Content ads are displayed on all sites unless the site’s name is provided in a blacklist.
As you can see above, MS adCenter does not give you the option of optiing out of their search partners. This raises the question: what is the quality of the partner sites on which adCenter Search ads might display?
To answer this question, I looked over some client accounts that are advertising through adCenter. Looking over several accounts and over 1/3 of a million impressions, here is a breakdown some of the sites that MSN is using for their Search Network. This is far from an exhaustive list, and is biased based on the types of accounts reviewed, but it serves as a good snapshot into the high caliber of sites in the network.
At the moment, the AdCenter Search Network consists primarily of MSN properties and quality partner sites.
MS Owned and Operated
Again, this is a representative list, not an exhaustive one. The big issue on the horizon is: what will happen to the caliber of ths list in a post-partnership world?