As I mentioned in a recent post, I have been doing some PPC advertising experiments for the last few months. I was almost done with many of the second rung networks until I realized that I forgot to give a go to the Microsoft AdCenter search advertising network.

In my opinion, if you are a serious Internet marketer focused mainly on the US market, then AdCenter is a must have in your SEM list. Beyond Google AdWords and Microsoft AdCenter you don’t really have a good option left when it comes to content and search advertising options as a package. There may be other content and text advertising options left but probably not anywhere near to these two giants.

Search Engine market share trends

Needless to say, Google continues to be the search engine leader by huge leaps on a global basis and its market share is probably around 85% globally. However it varies from country to country – For example, in the UK, Google commands a whopping 90% market whereas in countries like China, they are not a major force.

When it comes to the US market, Google’s share has started showing a declining trend and it stands at around 66% as of today. Since Microsoft and Yahoo have tied up on search engine technologies and marketing front, they have a combined base of about 30% in the US.

The above figures essentially mean that if your geographic focus is the United States and search engines are your main channel to drive sales then you are missing out on 30% of your opportunity if you are not on AdCenter.

In addition, I personally feel that the Bing search engine results are showing more relevance than the number of result pages rendered in a jiffy as claimed by Google. I kind of started disliking Google’s results eversince they started giving more focus on the social media junk content.

My take on Microsoft Advertising

Though it’s too early to judge, I am seeing a lot of positives on the Microsoft advertising with my initial experiments. The following are some of the major positives I saw.

  • CPC (cost per click) is low compared to that of Google AdWords
  • A lot more control over demographics like age group – AdCenter is more like the best of AdWords and Facebook advertising combined
  • Your ads get approved a lot faster
  • Your account do not get banned because of lame reasons like landing page score etc
  • More control over CPC rate variations for demographics, time slot etc

Having said that there are some issues with AdCenter as well. I did not quite like their keyword search tool and matching options there. Also, the overall user interface of Microsoft AdCenter, though simple, is not as attractive as that of Google AdWords.

Result-wise, I am already seeing some good results with AdCenter. The search volume and number of clicks are not as good as my AdWords campaigns but then I pay less for it anyhow. Moreover, they accept almost all landing pages – at least that has been the experience so far.

I shall keep you all posted on details as and when more results are available. As of now, I have allocated quite some budget on AdCenter search marketing for this month. Finally, I must add that AdCenter is something that complements or completes AdWords rather than totally replacing it because Google AdWords is still the leader in SEM and will continue to be so for at least a few more years.

Happy Money Making!

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