Feeds

MS throws hat into paid-search engine ring

adCenter squares up to Google and Yahoo!

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microsoft is taking on the great Google Money Machine with an inhouse answer to Google Adwords.

Step forward Microsoft adCenter, launched yesterday to pump out all-paid search traffic on MSN and other Microsoft online properties in the US. Microsoft’s adCenter replaces Yahoo!'s Overture as the paid-for search engine on MSN. The only surprise is how long it took Microsoft to make the switcheroo – predicted ever since Yahoo! bought Overture in 2003 – and confirmed this time last year by Microsoft at its annual MSN Strategic Account Summit.

Microsoft adCenter is already running in Singapore and France and will trial in the UK with select advertisers in June.

Paid-for-search is what made Google founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin multi-billionaires, and it is what made Yahoo! pay $1.63bn for Overture. Microsoft is coming late to the feeding frenzy: there are few signs of paid-search revenues actually falling, but advertiser disenchantment is growing. Click-fraud and ballooning prices are to blame.

Yesterday, for instance, a Newark, NJ advertiser, Crafts by Veronica, and several other small firms slapped Yahoo! with a class action suit, alleging fraud in the way the company distributes ads through Overture. The suit follows research published last month by anti-spyware activist Ben Edelman. This details examples of alleged syndication and click fraud.

A class action suit could be considered a badge of success – surely it is better than indifference. And Microsoft has had plenty enough of those to take any such future actions in its stride. A more pressing challenge will be to find third party publishers for its technology. Google and Yahoo! after all have tens of thousands of partners already signed up.

The quickest short-cut for Microsoft would be to buy Miva.com, the new name for Findwhat.com and eSpotting, which is the only independent paid-for search firm of note in town. ®

Related link

Microsoft press release

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.