Friday, 24 August 2007

Content targeting with Microsoft adCenter

In a further move to compete with the Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing PPC tools, Microsoft adCenter have announced the introduction of content targeted adverts on their US-focused PPC accounts. These will come into effect at the end of August and advertisers are being notified so that they have the option of using this additional coverage (by default) or to block their ads from this coverage.

As with the other PPC tools, content targeted advertising extends the reach of your PPC adverts to other non-search websites. These tend to be third-party websites that have signed up to carry the PPC ads from one of the leading providers, in return for a share of the revenue. Content targeted adverts can be less focused although the theory is that the PPC adverts are matched to appear on pages where the content is related to the search terms that are being bid upon. In most cases, users of these sites may not be actively searching but advertisers can pick up 'passing traffic' and this coverage can sometimes attract some good conversions.

At the moment it appears that Microsoft will be displaying their adCenter PPC adverts on other Microsoft/MSN websites, but their intention will be to extend their network and enable advertisers to achieve wide coverage for their adverts. Google already holds a very good share of the content targeted market and has become more open about the sites being used and the results being achieved, so it will be interesting to see how much of an inroad Microsoft's new service can make into this sector.

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