Important MSN adCenter Beta Advice

If your account is being migrated to the new MSN adCenter beta program so that you can take advantage of content here are some important tips.

  1. Make sure to log in right after your migration. I have found with two different clients that some of the geotargeting for specific city regions was dropped. This was not across the board, but in several ad groups. So be careful to check them all.
  2. Now you can finally see and easily delete your problem keywords that MSN has been pestering you about every time you have made a change in your ad. Review your keywords by page and delete (finally!) the rejected keywords.
  3. Make sure to ad separate bids for content. This is done on the keyword bid page and you must click advanced options. Update your search clicks by clicking the button to bring all of them into line and solve the problem of some defaulting back to ridiculously low figures that will garner no traffic, and then change the figure to about one half of your search cost and click the content bid button. I am recommending at this time to pay more than I would typically recommend in the content network as Microsoft does not have a developed content network yet with independent publishers and so the content ads will be showing on high value Microsoft property sites.

Overall the beta interface is a huge improvement over the previous one. Make sure to check out the easy drop down navigation on the bread crumb trail at the top to go to different ad groups and campaigns very easily Yahoo and Google should do this too.

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Google Pay Per Action Clarified

I have just set up a customer in Google AdWord’s new pay per action program. Here is some additional clarification about it.

  1. You may only target at the country level. So if you are going to advertising, it is US or full country or multiple country only.
  2. You should select lead only unless you are selling a product on e-commerce. You can not pay for an action such as a mortgage completed as there is no way to track this. You can however track a sale with a price that doesn’t change and one that is variable, but it must be trackable through your store with a special conversion tracking script added.
  3. You can only have pay per action ads appear in the content network. Your ads will never show on Google when it comes to pay per action.

Hope this helps as you consider if you want to try Google AdWords pay per action. Google is taking sign ups but only inviting a limited number of advertisers at this point, but if you want, here is an invitation to sign up and get on the queue.

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Yahoo, MSN and Google Embrace Sitemap Robots.Txt Notation

This is big news and for sure you will want to update your website with the new sitemap Robots.txt tag that points the top three search engines to your sitemap with auto-discovery features.

You simply need to add this little snippet to your robots.txt file with your correct information inserted:

Sitemap: http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml

It’s simple and the big three are all accepting it! You can click my blog post title to read the full article on the Yahoo Search blog that is acting as the press release.

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Microsoft adCenter Changes Coming

Click the link in our blog post title to go to Microsoft adCenter’s beta control panel. Microsoft is revamping the old adCenter control panel and there are some very welcome changes.

No you won’t see the magic yellow carat that Google uses to carry changes to the bottom of the page, but you will see new bulk editing options. That alone is one of the biggest improvements. adCenter is also touting new bulk ad upload features, though I have not tested this one yet, that will allow you to migrate programs easily from Yahoo. Migrating from AdWords takes a bit of work as AdWords ads are done with two line descriptions and Microsoft adCenter has one, like Yahoo. But truthfully any improvement there will be welcome.

I am testing out the Microsoft content network tomorrow and will let you know what happens with that in the next few days. I feel like I will ride that train until they add a publisher network and quality goes into the trash basket. Right now content will be on top dollar, high value Microsoft property sites, so it won’t be cheap, but the quality for the time being may be as good as the MSN and Live Search vehicles.

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New Things For Real Estate Happening on Google Base

If you haven’t checked out Google Base lately I am telling you that you should. Google Base has been adding some really neat things in the last several weeks.

First you can now add your entire store database to Google Base and show your products not only in Froogle with one feed, but in Google AdWords. And now Google Base is targeting real estate agents, brokers, IDX suppliers, and MLS search engines.

If you are an agent or broker, you can create or have created for you a Google Base feed that contains a database of sorts of your listings. You can do this manually one by one or create a text file or XML file and upload with one click all your listings.

The only problem that I see right now is that listings only last 14 days at this point, so it means that you really need to update your feed once a week and reload it at least every week and one half to be sure that your listings don’t fall out. Hopefully Google will fix that aspect soon.

In the meantime, it may be an opportunity for you to get more exposure for your listings in a very cost effective manner. Personally due to the time to create a feed and to maintain it, if I were an agent or broker I would be pushing my IDX supplier to embrace this technology and do the heavy lifting for me and let them absorb the costs. But for tech savvy agents and brokers, this may be a neat way to stay on top of the game before the IDX and MLS suppliers get with the program.

If you do decide to invest the time and resources to do a feed for Google Base, it would be incredibly smart to market this as a perk to your clients that not only do you now give them MLS exposure, but all listings appear on Google Maps, Google AdWords and in the Google search index when you use Google Base. Using the power of Google you can leverage more real estate exposure for yourself and your clients with Google Base.

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