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Old 05-22-2006   #1
Discovery
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Top 10 Adcenter Fixes

OK, it's been almost 2 weeks since adcenter has been open to the public.
It's also been about a month since we have heard from Adcenter411, so I thought we should put our top 10 fixes together and let her know what our needs are.

#1. Although it is not a fix for me, I know many posts have to do with giving proper support to MAC and Firefox.

#2 My top issue - Organize the site navigation according to a date or date range. None of the data presented on any page has any meaning if one has no idea of what timeframe it represents. Going to the report function is NOT a solution. We need to navigate from page to page according to a selected date or timeframe.. today, yesterday, last 7 days and so on. Even if the data lags by 24 hours we can work with it. Without this we can't manage campaigns at all.

#3 Still receiving errors when attempting to add new keywords to accounts via the copy and paste function, even for keywords that are clearly not dups and do not exceed the 100 limit. The upload function is also quirky and difficult. UNLIMITED COPY AND PASTE.

#4 No clear way to add keywords for exact, broad, or phrase match. For example if you have existing keywords for broad match, but now want to add exact match there is no clear way to do this. All attempts have resulted in errors.

#5 Reporting conversions - I have conversion data, yet I have never used MSN tracking code for these campaigns???

#6 Rejected keywords..there is no rhyme or reason to them. I have a keyword that is accepted and an obvious misspelling of it rejected. Landing page not relevant! The incorrectly spelled word, does not spell another meaningful word. How can this happen? Bankruptcy, Bankrupcy

#7 Pet peeve - The interface never fits within the width of my browser! I have a pretty darn big screen set at a high res and I still have to scroll around to see the whole page.

#8 Many features time out. When you try to view existing ads, when you try to view keyword projections, pricing and so on. Pages just time out.

Don’t let these requests make you think I'm unhappy with MSN. Our CPC is low and the conversions beat out the other two bigs.

Please submit your top 10 fixes and be as concise as you can.

Cheers,

Discovery
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Old 05-22-2006   #2
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this is great discovery, thanks for starting this thread. my thoughts on your list:

1. firefox support is a super-high priority for us. no eta yet but for sure i'll keep you posted here.
2. good feedback - i know the development team is working on some time/date stamp ideas so i'll forward your ideas on to them.
3. keywords - 2 things here. first, the development team is looking into why some people are getting intermittent errors when trying to add keywords, so once i know more, i'll let you know. second, again, we're working to increase the number of keywords you can copy/paste. not sure if it'll be unlimited, but for sure it'll be more than the 100 we allow now.
4. not sure i understand you here so let me know if i've got this right. it should work to go to your manage keywords page, click the match options drop-down, add keywords and then use the check-boxes to add your match types. could you let me know the repro steps that lead you to errors? or, let me know if i'm not understanding you correctly.
5. this is very weird and seems like a bug. have you contacted support about this?
6. our editorial review process is another area we're focusing on, we've gotten a lot of complaints that it doesn't make sense.
7 & 8. i agree these are frustrating. the product team is aware of these as well, i can confirm that with them though.

i'm excited to see what other folks come up with for their top tens.

thanks!
adCenter411
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Old 05-22-2006   #3
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Re: #1 ...

I spoke with one of the MSN guys Friday at the SEW Live event in Seattle and was told it would be about 6 weeks for Mac compatibility.
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Old 05-23-2006   #4
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Great list, Discovery - I agree with most, if not all, of your points. Here is my contribution:

Regarding your #4 and match types, add a check box at the top of each match type that, when checked, selects all the keywords in your list, so we can select (or de-select) match types for our entire list of keywords with one click instead of 50. I almost don't want to use match types because I have to check so darn many little boxes!

11. Better search functionality within Adcenter. If I don't know what campaign and order I'm looking for already, it's *really* hard to find it, because the search function doesn't seem to work properly. I get errors.

12. Add a "find" tool where we can find all ads that have a certain URL parameter, are at or above a certain CPC, etc. - and then give us a way to edit multiple CPCs on multiple orders on a mass basis. Bid management within the interface is an absolute nightmare right now.

13. Give us the ability to turn off auto-optimization when running multiple creatives per order. Otherwise we can't properly test.

14. Fix dynamic keyword insertion to allow for capitalization: {keyword}. {Keyword}, and {KeyWord}; and default copy if the keyword is too long.

15. "Relevancy" guidelines need a lot of work. They're too general right now - what is a good CTR in one industry may not be a good CTR in another. And so on. Also, if ads/keywords that have been running since the October beta launch suddenly become "irrelevant" and don't pass muster, please notify the advertiser so they can make adjustments, instead of letting them find out by accident when their traffic drops to nothing (can you tell this happened to us recently? )

As Discovery said, I'm not knocking MSN - our ROI is very good, and the interface has a lot of great features. And customer service is excellent - my reps are already aware of everything I mentioned above except #12 (because I only thought of that one yesterday), and have followed up with me religiously when I've had a problem. All in all, MSN is on the right track.

Melissa
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Old 05-23-2006   #5
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Most of what I would like to see has been said here...

1) Get rid of the aspx interface and use html/web-based pages or whatever every other site uses (i can't open two windows at once, back and forward navigation never works, this seems to be the cause of countless errors, timeouts and overall problems within the interface)
2) Fix dynamic keyword insertion to allow capitalization and default title
3) Allow reports by keyword to go back longer than 40 days
4) Allow all data (impressions, clicks, conversions, avg. position, etc.) to be sortable by date in the screen that you make bid changes/updates (see Google)
5) Reports for the previous day should be available the next morning, especially when the system defaults to it, it always takes 2 days for our data to become available
6) Design a new way to submit new keywords, match types and negative keywords
7) Ditch the whole 'parameters' system - its illogical, inefficient and confusing
8) Over-reporting of conversions - the system reports more conversions than we have sales by anywhere from 5-20% every day (we have never had this problem on any other outlet, in fact it is usually the opposite)

I know there is more that I would remember if I were able to get into my account, but since I can't access the site right now for whatever reason...

Last edited by PPC : 05-23-2006 at 05:47 PM. Reason: added one more
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Old 06-16-2006   #6
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#4 answer

"#4 No clear way to add keywords for exact, broad, or phrase match. For example if you have existing keywords for broad match, but now want to add exact match there is no clear way to do this. All attempts have resulted in errors."

To Change/Edit/Add your Match type:
go into your campaign
go into your order
go into the manage keywords tab
click on Match Options above the Delete button (above your keywords)
click on show match types
look at your keywords then to the right of them are the boxes to check for match types.
select or uncheck those boxes...
click on continue
YOUR DONE

It's really not that hard... just ask someone or call support.. they're good at their jobs.
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Old 07-07-2006   #7
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My adCenter troubles.....

I finally had to find somewhere to express my displeasure with MSN adCenter. I have been advertising on Google and Yahoo for many years for many clients. I have opened 3 accounts in adCenter over the last two months. I have had nothing but problems. Here is a list:

1.NO BILLING DEPARTMENT!!
How can ANY company run a business with no accounting department for billing questions? They should be able to account for every dime my clients spend at any time the inforamtion is requested. NO ONE at customer service can see anything different than I can as far as accounting goes. I had to tell most of them where you can see any daily adjustments that are acctually being credited.
2.Why aren't words alphbetized on the manage keywords page?
When I add more words to an order they go to the end of the list. When I want to go back and make changes I have to scroll up and down through the list to find the word I want to modify. That makes the optimization process VERY time consuming.
3. Server errors constantly when I try to make multiple changes to multiple orders.
Can I ever get to and from the manage keywords page without getting an error at least 20 times first?
4. Billing reports?
It would be nice if they had something besides budget reports
5. I have to go into each daily invoice to see any Adjustments made to any account.
This goes back to reports, why can't I get one for adjustments, my clients want to know what they are really being charged, adjustments included.
6. Schedule reports? what a joke
I am in CST(USA), I schedule a report for Mondays and I get it SUNDAY night because it is sent on UTC time. It does not include the correct days for the requested report. Their answer to this problem was to send me an e-mail that explained how to convert from my time to UTC time. (two weeks after the original problem was posed to them)
7. rejected words e-mails non-existant
Can they let me know when they take words offline for
ANY reason. I can't afford to search for every word in every account every day to see if they have suddenly removed it for low click through or rejection. You could be running words right now you don't realize have been taken off line. I have hundreds of words in several accounts this is ridiculous.
8. Global issues
why do I have to enter the same excluded words to every new word I add? why can't excluded words be optionally added as Global so I don't have to add them every time. Sure I can use the add multiple excluded words, but if I already have keywords in the order and am adding more keywords it will add a second copy of the excluded words to the old words that were there. I have words that have 3 copies of the SAME excluded words because I am not going to go correct it and I didn't realize they would set a system up not to catch duplicates.
9.CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!!! is a joke too
They are expected to answer phones, answer e-mails, and research problems all at the same time and they have NO resources to back them up. Here is how my average customer service problem report goes.... I call them to report a problem. I give the the account info, specific date range involved, and a detailed description of the problem. The rep writes it down and says they will research it. 3 days later I get an e-mail saying they need more info, usually the account info and the date range. I ask why they need this, and never get a good answer since they should already have it. Then ten days after that I get an answer that does not even address the original question (like their UTC conversion answer). I have over 25 outstanding "service numbers" with them that I consider never answered. I have NEVER gotten an answer in less than a week. I have spoken with supervisors who know less about the system than I do already. When I have to teach mutliple reps and supervisors how to run aggregate keyword reports (match types not split out per keyword), when I have to inform them that words are not alphabetized on the manage keywords page, when I hear the phrase "oh, I didn't know that" repeatedly from the representatives that are supposed to teach ME the system, then there is a problem.
The account I manage spends upwards of $3,500/day on MSN ($15,000 on Google, $8,00 on Yahoo). I had 3 on MSN, but two have already dropped them because they are concerned with the billing issues, and the fact that MSN immpressions are so slow compared to Google and Yahoo. There are many more minor issues I have with MSN's interface that I won't go into here. But suffice it to say, they need REAL improvement and they need it fast!
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Old 07-07-2006   #8
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#1 A DITTO
Organize the site navigation according to a date or date range AND MAKE IT USER ADJUSTABLE.

None of the data presented on any page has any meaning if one has no idea of what timeframe it represents AND SINCE IT IS INACCURATE IT'S EVEN WORSE. (EVEN THE SUPPORT LINE SAYS IT'S TRASH).

Going to the report function is NOT a solution. We need to navigate from page to page according to a selected date or timeframe.. today, yesterday, last 7 days and so on. Even if the data lags by 24 hours we can work with it. Without this we can't manage campaigns at all.
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Old 07-07-2006   #9
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Ditto to many of these, especially
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSI
7. rejected words e-mails non-existant
Can they let me know when they take words offline for
ANY reason. I can't afford to search for every word in every account every day to see if they have suddenly removed it for low click through or rejection. You could be running words right now you don't realize have been taken off line. I have hundreds of words in several accounts this is ridiculous.
This is absolutely frustrating and totally unacceptable. A couple of months ago, I found out by accident that most of our top-volume keywords were taken offline due to their mysterious "relevancy guidelines", and no one from MSN bothered to notify me. Luckily I watch this stuff pretty carefully, so I caught it quickly, but then it took about 3-4 days for MSN to get the ads back up and running - while we lost sales as a result. This was the one time I was glad MSN's traffic is so low - otherwise the volume of lost sales would have been a really big deal! The stupid thing was, these were the terms that were driving 80-90% of our MSN volume - yet somehow, all of a sudden, the ads aren't relevant??? Worse yet, no one from MSN bothered to notify me so I could do something about it???

Yahoo isn't much better, but at least they have the "Editorial Status" section of the interface where you can see what keywords were disabled and why. Keywords can go "inactive for search" in Google, as well, but it's easy to run a report and find them. MSN doesn't have a section where you can see your rejected ads, nor do they have a report I'm aware of that shows which ads have been taken down. Crazy.

Melissa
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Old 07-07-2006   #10
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A little more..

OK, here are a few more....

First I agree with everyone who says the data that shows next to the campign names, order names, and on the keyword performance page is unusable. We need to see stats like "yesterday, last week, this month, last month, etc.". As others have said, Google and Yahoo can do it, why can't you. I find this makes optimizing accounts much easier. I don't have to run all kinds of reports all the time.

I would like an option to add conversion data to EVERY report that I run. I am SOOOOO tired of having to select conv, conv rate, and conv cost every time I run a report. Of course they woud say just schedule it, but I explained that problem in my last post and it is not an option.

What's the deal with e-mails? They send me an e-amil, I click the reply button and the address does not automatically porpigate into the TO: field like it should. I have to copy and paste the address! This is MSN! Can they not be compatable with Outlook 2003? of course I have added them to my address book by now, but I still have to select them every time I reply.

Words rejected for misspelling? I WANT to bid on the misspelling specifically. Why do I have to add them, have them rejected, then appeal the rejection to get them through? Give me a way to tell you I MEAN to misspell these!!

By the way I agree with the person who said your "relevancy standards" are too high. I added a word on a Friday, had it rejected for relevancy on Sat. Added it Monday, it has now become my 3rd best producing keyword.

Another problem I have with customer service is that information is not exchanged between the reps or the reps and supervisors. Simple things that I have been telling them for almost two months now are not generally known by all the reps. For example, within the first week of opening the first account I told them that I was frustrated with the fact that the manage keywords page would not allow me to sort the words alphabetically (or any other way). The fact that that has not been addressed in 8 weeks is bad enough, the fact that in the last two days I have run into reps on the phone that still want to tell me it can be and I have to take the time to show them differently is unfathomable. That information should have been disseminated to all reps by now. And again this is only one example (scheduled reports going out on UTC time would be another example) of things I know I have informed them of that none of the reps ever seem to find out about.

Set regions globally for campiagns and accounts. Why do I have to pick region for each order? That is only asking for erros to occur because people accidentally pick the wrong region for one order or the other. Maybe there is a good reason for this that does not apply to the industries I advertise in, but I never need more than an account wide region setting. It could at least be an option.

An FYI for agencies advertising for multiple advertisers like me. You CAN not run camaigns with the same keywords in the same account or in separate accounts in the same user id and have them show up in the same immpressions like customer service will tell you. To have more than one campaign running on the same keyword and have both campaigns show up in the same immpression you have to have separate USER IDs. I happen to have more than one client in the same industry and only by the hardest trial and error I figured that out for myself. Through the entire process customer service kept telling me..."But they say it should work this way". I would like to run all clients in one user id, but that is immpossible since I have more than one running on the same keywords.

Another FYI, did you know if there is a problem with a declined charge to a credit card that they wait 6 days before they inform you? If a charge is declined they take your listings offline, wait two days and try again, wait four days and try again, THEN they inform you there is a problem. Never telling you they took your account offline, not letting you know for 6 days that it was even declined. I am in these accounts every day so I would catch it, but those who are not...beware. I haven't had this happen, but asked the question because I have had a client's card rejected on other engines when there was a possible theft reported on it. With the lack of a billing department I wondered how I would be informed and this is the answer I got from multiple reps and one supervisor. I also got this answer from the PREMIUM customer service reps too. I want to know IMMEDIATELY the FIRST time it is declined because that means there is a real problem I may need to investigate on MY end. Why would you wait 6 days to let me know?

My last comment is about the fabled PREMIUM customer service. This is a farse too. I asked before I opened an account to become a Premium account. I have multiple high spending, high volume accounts and it seemed like that is what I would need. The quick launch reps agreed, but told me Premium was "full" and that I would have to wait. After a month of QuickLaunch they were so tired of all the questions I demanded answers to that someone got me in contact with Premium. But do you know what they wanted me to do to become premium? I would have had to delete the 3 fulling running campigns I had created and optimized over a month and start from scratch creating them in the Premium area all over again, going back to the bottom and letting these campiagns gain strength again. What? My clients would lose business! Why can't they just assign my current accounts to a premium rep? Then they also wanted to have "on file" an authorized signature for my client's credit card. Why? No reason they just want it "in case" they need it. It will be kept in a "secure file", never used, but it will be safe. Right, all three of my clients said no way immediately. In this day and age of identity theft, of information being lost from inside sources (the vetrans info being taken home by an employee then stolen) why would ANYONE in thier right mind allow a company to keep on file an authorized signture for a credit card that by their own admission they do not need? These same accounts are runnig in QuickLaunch with the same charges on the same cards with no signatures required. I'll also let you all know that while I had a real premium rep on the line I tested them a little. I asked three questions and got the same answers I got from the QuickLaunch reps, "I don't know", "I didn't know that" and, "I'd have to research that more". The questions were: How can I look at daily billing adjustments made to my clients accounts? Words on the Manage Keywords page can not be sorted at all did you know that? What time zone are scheduled reports sent out on? If they can't answer the simple ones, how are they going to be any better on the REAL PROBLEMS that come up. To me that closed the question of wether I ever wanted to be premium before I even told my clients about the signature and having to open new accounts again.

Do I seem frustrated? Can you tell by the length of my dissertaions? I'm glad to see there are others feeling the same way, well not glad we're frustrated, but glad it really isn't just me expecting more from MSN.
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Old 07-15-2006   #11
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Angry Frustration central!!!

Why discuss the top ten improvements when what is already there does not work?

Let's start with importing keywords. I create an excel import file with excel, select it with Browse, click import and Adcenter tells me to select an xls file. DUH! So I create a csv file, select it with browse, click import and Adcenter tells me to I need an excel or csv file. You can't do it with either.

The excluded keywords procedure is so lame as to almost be a joke. Endlessly paste the same stuff over and over???!!!??

You know, I was excited about MSN. No longer. Sure, I'm still going to advertise on MSN - but d---- little. It is just to much bs to set up the kind of campaigns I am used to running on Google and Yahoo.

Man, I am going to have to really dumb things down on MSN for now or I might become homicidal.

Has anyone noticed the help section on excluded keywords? It says if you have "pet toy" for a search term you should make "insurance" an excluded keyword so your ad won't show for "pet insurance." How can the ad show for "pet insurance"?

Listen, I WANT MSN TO SUCCEED, but somebody a MSN better light a fire under whoever is running their PPC business and Adcenter. Certainly I don't expect MSN to be where Google is at for openers. But I didn't expect that after working for hours to create the same thing as one AD Group at Google I would be 0 for 0.
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