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Thursday, May 04, 2006

MSN adCenter Launches: 5 Reasons NOT to Use It

Although reports are all over the news and blogosphere about MSN going to 100% traffic with their new ads and encouraging people to sign up, I would hold off. Well, hold off to an extent, let me explain.

I've had a few MSN adCenter accounts for a while now but just these last few weeks have I really digging into it and trying to get a handle on how it all works. Along the way I have discovered many things I like and many that I do not like, and I have let MSN know about it via the adCenter blog, their feedback form, and my personal contacts inside MSN. If it weren't for these contacts explaining things to me as I was running around, I would feel pretty clueless and lonely.

Here are just a few reasons why you should stay away from adCenter:
1. The Help documentation is not very helpful. All '?' bring you to the same help search page, instead of the actual topic you are looking for. Minor issue, but talk about a time waster!
2. The budget optimizer doesn't work and there has been no mention about it. One of the accounts I was testing, I put in $100 monthly budget for May, and 4 days in I've spent $45. Now they say you won't ever spend more then your budget but in a week, it will be depleted and my ads will be gone from MSN for the rest of the month.
3, 4, & 5. Keyword Reporting problems. First the UI is terrible, while you are looking at your keywords there is no date range selector to see yesterday's performance or a specific range, instead you have to change tabs and run a report. This sounds trivial but time is money and having to run a report just to look at yesterday's data is silly. Lag time in the data reporting is days instead of minutes. There are supposedly taking care of this problem by adding new server farms, but currently you have to run a report and look at it hourly in order to see any data outside of today's date. More UI problems, the layouts of the data being reported is not labeled very well. The previously mentioned hourly reports have a mysterious number range between 1 and 24, and not only are they not in order, they don't tell you what time zone it is for. (It's GMT for those curious).

That is just five reasons why not to use adCenter as it stands today, I'm sure you can find more on your own and while these don't seem like much its only the tip of the iceberg. While adCenter is very feature rich and will no doubt be a big hit, it needs some major work. I hope that 'May Major adCenter Update' rumor is true.

I do encourage you to sign up and explore adCenter, it will help to get familiar with it, but just don't go putting a significant chunk of your online budget into it just yet.

By Jason Dowdell at 10:12 AM | Comments (1)

(1) Thoughts on MSN adCenter Launches: 5 Reasons NOT to Use It

I want to cancel my subscription to the adcenter and don't know how to do it. Can anyone help?

Comments by Bob Hoff : Friday, September 22, 2006 at 11:32 PM

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