A conversation on the search engine topic always immediately yields to mentioning Google. People tend to forget about MSN as a search engine and Adcenter as a new PPC platform which is offering a services to Google’s paid search platform Adwords. Adcenter can be an amazingly built system by Microsoft, though personally I think it has pros and cons below.
Traffic Quality and Quantity
Pros: MSN is considered by many advertisers as conversion rate is pretty high.
Cons: Adcenter’s traffic volume is still very tiny compared to Google’s which is still dominating the search industry.
Pros: Adcenter offers a unique feature, targeting by demographics. Adwords still does not offer a similar feature.
Cons: There are concerns about how reliable the demographic data is, as it is totally based on Microsoft’s user details via Hotmail. Many user profiles were created long time ago and may not necessarily be accurate.
Pros: Microsoft has always been a technology company who can virtually improve its already well-built paid search management platform to compete with that of Google’s.
Cons: For many years, Microsoft used to develop operating systems and office software that require much computing power. Applying this fundamental approach to online platforms that have to work both securely and quickly, it can be a challenge. For example, Adcenter as a user interface is extremely slow.
Pros: To increase traffic volume to its paid search advertisers, Microsoft always has the financial buying power to acquire traffic partners in which some can even be big names in the internet space, such as AOL or even its rival Yahoo!.
Cons: Even after buying another Internet big names (AOL or Yahoo!), it will certainly take time to integrate the technologies. There can be incompatibility issues during integrations.
My View on Adcenter
I certainly don’t enjoy the slow speed of the Adcenter interface, but I will praise for what Microsoft has done so far in trying to catch up with Google on pay-per-click. Adcenter does have the potential to become as good as Adwords, providing Microsoft’s strategies are correctly executed.