adCenter just introduced Microsoft Content Ads, their version of contextual advertising, which displays relevant ads from search into the content within MSN. According to the adCenter blog, the release (in beta) will be expanded with most ads now running in Health & Fitness, Money, Tech & Gadgets, and Travel and though similar to Google AdSense and Yahooâ€™s Publisher Network, Content Ads are not being displayed outside of the MSN.
A nice addition to be sure but most alarming is that I interpret their blog post as saying that Microsoft will automatically upgrade advertisers to Content. It is safe to assume that their Content network will perform differently from Search (as do the other enginesâ€™) so pay close attention to your account and opt-out if Content is not right for you or restructure Content with separate bids to accommodate the unique performance of that channel.
Content Ads Choices
This week, some of our U.S. advertisers will receive an e-mail notification that their accounts will be upgraded as part of the adCenter Content Ads pilot program. If you receive this notice, your campaigns will automatically be upgraded to include distribution on content pages within the Microsoft network. Advertisers whose campaigns are upgraded will have control over their campaigns and have the following choices:
If you choose to run your ads on content pages, youâ€™ll also have the ability to set separate pricing for content clicks. Content Ads uses the same bid structure as your search adsâ€”you pay only when someone clicks your ad. However, you also have the choice of setting different bid prices for content clicks by using the Separate Bid Pricing feature within the Advanced Bidding Options. You can learn how by reading our recent in-depth post of how to set separate bid prices for Content Ads. Weâ€™ve also made it easy to track your performance for Content Ads with reporting that provides details on search performance separately from content performance.
- Hybrid: Run your ads on Live Search and content pages using â€œhybridâ€ ad groups.
Your existing ad groups will automatically be set to display on content pages at your current search ad bid prices. You can also set new bids for your content clicks through the beta site.
- Turn off Content Ads.
Within the Ad Group Settings tab, under the Targeting section, click the Select a distribution method for this ad group link, and clear the Content check box. You can learn more about this option by reading our help article.
- Create content-only and search-only ad groups.
You can create a unique destination URL or have content-specific ad creative.
Work with Content. Microsoft has a valuable audience with characteristics unique to MSN, identify their value and use Content to increase your profitable reach.