Microsoft Tweaks adCenter Quality Ranking

    October 1, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

In an acknowledgment of how relevance in search advertising has been so successful, Microsoft moved to give higher quality ranked ads a better shot at appearing.

Slowly but surely, Microsoft and Yahoo have been moving closer to Google’s model of slavish devotion to relevance when it comes to serving ads alongside content. They won’t phrase it in those terms, but it’s not difficult to see who the target is for online ad success.

Details of the update appeared on the adCenter blog. The changes will make the marketplace more dynamic, according to Microsoft:

As an advertiser, you can control whether your ads appear in the mainline by increasing either the Click Through Rate or the Max Bid. You can think of this as a quality threshold that you must cross in order to appear in the mainline. With this change, we expect most of your ads will continue to perform as they have in the past. However, there may be some cases where: •  You could see your ads move in or out of the mainline depending on your CTR and set Max Bid
•  You may need to bid more to maintain mainline positions
•  You may see ads move up into the mainline without bidding more
•  For ads remaining in the mainline, your actual CPC may increase

Advertisers have the usual ability to control their ad quality with edits to their ad copy, bid pricing, and other attributes. The greater emphasis on ad quality has been long in coming from Microsoft, but it isn’t too late to be of benefit to the company’s adCenter or MSN/Live Search product users.

The move coincides with the formal relaunch of Live Search 2.0 by Microsoft. They emphasized three particular verticals – health, shopping, and entertainment – with the update, as those categories pull some 40 percent of all search queries they see.