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'Why not try nude female midgets?' says Microsoft Adcenter

Keywords no one bids on for a reason

Microsoft Adcenter helpfully sent me a link to lists of low-cost keywords I could advertise on, categorised by sector, to “unlock new customers”. I had a quick look through the ’sport and rec’ list. Here is a small sample:

Adcenter suggests "dogging swindon"

Adcenter suggests "carriage dangerous goods road 1996 schedule 12"

Adcenter suggests "nude female midgets"

Adcenter suggests "download pr0n usa"

Adcenter suggests "free pr0n videos no catches"

Adcenter suggests "duck pr0n"

Adcenter suggests "hare krishna temple watford"

Adcenter suggests "british closed judo championships 2007"

Adcenter suggests "vn b m gn mbnmncbm xbc bcv 0 vfkmjirhtfnkj nb b x bmnx bv"

Adcenter suggests "free sex animal sites"

There are lots more where they came from. Microsoft says:

These keywords are actual terms recently used by your customers on Live and MSN Search Engines and are available at a low cost while very few other advertisers are bidding on them.

No kidding.

Did they do any QA on this list (and some pretty unpleasant ones I didn't include)? Exactly how many people are searching on “vn b m gn mbnmncbm xbc bcv 0 vfkmjirhtfnkj nb b x bmnx bv”? What has dogging (not work safe) or Hare Krishna got to do with rugby? Is it any wonder nobody is bidding on “duck porn”? Are there really that many people interested in pictures of nude female bodybuilders (apparently)?

Thanks Microsoft, but I’m really not sure they are the sort of new customers I want to unlock.

This article was originally published on Successful Software.

Andy Brice is a UK-based software developer with over twenty years of professional experience. In 2005 he founded Oryx Digital to sell shrink-wrap software and provide consulting to other software companies. He writes a blog to sound off on topics related to software and to build the consulting side of his business.

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