September 19, 2014

Bing! And Then There Were Two

As has been reported everywhere, Microsoft finally got their hands on Yahoo’s search. Some say the move is necessary to create a viable competitor to Google’s monopoly. Some bemoan the death of Yahoo (since they’re the only “old school” search engine still around). Virtually every possible angle has already been covered, so I’ll just talk about what the merger means to me, the PPC manager at Vizad.

First, The Bad News

  1. Muddled demographics – Yahoo is more social, skews younger and more female. Microsoft is more corporate, skews older and more male. Now it will be one big muddled mess (just like Google)
  2. Wasted certification – My Certified Yahoo Ambassador status is a goner (though the Ambassador program was pretty much gone already)

The Silver Lining

  1. One less interface(eventually) – No more dealing with Yahoo’s clunky, slow web interface and both Bing and Google have desktop clients
  2. I’m in total control – No longer do I have to worry that Yahoo has turned off my ads in the name of optimization, or added keywords, or added new ad groups or … you get my point
  3. A legitimate contender – While everyone talks about search generally, the Google monopoly is most problematic on the advertising side. A solid competitor (with deep pockets to compete) will hopefully create a healthier market for PPC advertisers

I’m sure there will be problems as two gigantic companies try to merge something so complex. I’m sure you’ll hear plenty from the pundits, but for a PPC manager like me this will likely improve life. How will it affect you?

Take the Microsoft adExcellence Test Free Through May 31st

Microsoft adCenter (their competitor to Google AdWords) is offering free testing on their adExcellence program (the equivalent of being AdWords certified) through May 31st to launch their new company-level accreditation. Companies can achieve this certification when they have 3 employees who pass the test. The test is regularly $50 and took me a little over an hour. When you’re about to take the test use this promotional code – companyadex.

I’ve been a certified adExcellence member since last year, which means I can put up this little image testifying to my accreditation.


I think that is enough horn tooting for today. Good luck on the test.

The Tortoise and The Hare: adCenter vs. AdWords

If asked to describe AdWords as an animal, most would probably call them the 800-pound gorilla. However, yesterday I had the distinct thought that maybe Google is more like the hare from Aesop’s fable and surprisingly, Microsoft may very well be the tortoise.

“Slow and steady wins the race”

Before burning me at the stake for PPC heresy, hear me out. On Monday adCenter released updated tracking code that will fix a long-standing problem; the double-count. Despite the best efforts of PPC marketers and webmasters to place conversion tracking code on pages that can only be seen once, many users are unpredictable and illogical enough to somehow load thank you pages more than once, resulting in duplicate conversions (thus throwing off all your metrics). The new code from adCenter gives you a couple of different options for counting your conversions to give you numbers that aren’t too hot, aren’t too cold, but are just right.

Next I came across a story on TechCrunch about Microsoft PubCenter’s beta results. The beta testers they spoke with were reporting better revenue than AdSense (likely due to Microsoft’s generosity on revenue splits) and that PubCenter gave them more liberty on creative. Add in the fact that the ads were as well targeted as AdSense and you have a legit competitor to AdSense.

Can Microsoft Win?

Microsoft has the money and they are willing to spend it. While slower than AdWords, adCenter has released an off-line ad management tool, improved their tracking code and developed a legit competitor to AdSense. Slow and steady definitely describes Microsoft’s efforts (8% search share?) but can they really win the race?

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