Microsoft Boosts Tools for adCenter, Live Search

Microsoft unveils online ad and search utilities to help advertisers and search engine experts do their jobs better.

Microsoft said Dec. 3 it has created two new utilities, one designed to improve the way partners in the companys adCenter online advertising system generate revenues from paid search and the other to optimize Web sites for Microsoft Live Search.

The adCenter platform is the core weapon in Microsofts bid to compete with rival ad platforms from market leaders Google, Yahoo, AOL and several others. The adCenter partners pick keywords that will help boost their products or services, and then build ads they believe users will click on.

The first new tool, adCenter Add-in for Excel 2007, is a software application that helps adCenter customers find keywords that will better help them target the right audience with their paid search advertising campaigns.

Advertisers often use spreadsheets to study data about keywords, search habits, cost-per-click and other attributes across their accounts, James Colborn, director of adCenter for Microsofts advertiser and publisher solutions, told eWEEK.

The adCenter Add-in for Excel 2007 plugs into an Excel spreadsheet and helps advertisers build keyword lists for their business products or services, taking into account relevance, cost and projected volume.


Read more here about Microsofts adCenter platform.

For example, Colborn said that if a user typed in the word "camera," the user could right-click on the keyword in Excel and find 100,000 keywords related to that word.

Instead of taking the time to manually comb through the adCenter interface to find that information, which fluctuates frequently, the software will query 10,000 keywords in 30 seconds.

With those keywords, advertisers can then sort through key performance indicators, such as the number of ad impressions, clicks, positions, demographics and geographical information.

The software plug-in, represented as a tab called "ad intelligence" at the top of the Excel spreadsheet, accesses data from Microsofts Keyword Services Platform, a set of Web service application programming interfaces for keyword recommendation, forecasting, categorization and monetization.

The adCenter Add-in, unveiled both at the Search Engine Strategies in Chicago and WebmasterWorld in Las Vegas, will be available Jan. 8, 2008.

The second tool Microsoft unveiled Nov. 29 at both shows is actually a portal. Designed for Webmasters and search engine optimizers, the Webmaster Center provides resources to help Web sites achieve the highest possible algorithmic listing on Microsofts Live Search software.

The portal tells search experts about how Live Search crawls and indexes site pages; site map creation and submission; statistics about Web sites indexed by Live Search; and content submission guidelines. The beta version of the Webmaster Center can be accessed at here.


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