MSN Launches Paid Search Platform

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Friday, March 18, 2005

MSN Launches Paid Search PlatformMicrosoft, who a little over a month ago released its own search technology, has signaled a direct assault on one of the main profit-generators of Google and Yahoo when it unveiled its plans for MSN AdCenter, a paid for search engine placement program. With this type of paid-placement product, Microsoft will move into the mother lode of a multibillion dollar ad business dominated by Google and Yahoo.

MSN Launches Paid Search Platform

The time has finally come when Microsoft's MSN will tighten up it's boots, re-lace it's gloves, and step back into the ring to go toe-to-toe with search engine rivals Google and Yahoo!. Microsoft, who a little over a month ago released its own search technology, has signaled a direct assault on one of the main profit-generators of Google and Yahoo when it unveiled its plans for MSN AdCenter, a paid for search engine placement program (Pay Per Click).

Why is Microsoft Moving into Paid-Search

This new program is expected to dip into the pockets of its search competitors. With this type of paid-placement product, Microsoft will move into the mother lode of a multibillion dollar ad business dominated by Google and Yahoo. Search-engine marketing is expected to be worth as much as $5 billion this year, and nearly $9 billion annually within four years, according to Jupiter Research. Microsoft's piece of this multi-billion dollar pie has been smaller than the shares enjoyed by market leaders Yahoo and Google, and now the software giant is hungry for more.

What does this Mean for Search Marketers

Everything! For the last several years, Overture has supplied the sponsored search listings adjacent to and above MSN search results, a partnership that has helped buoy profits of the Internet property. As we all know, attaining a top listing MSN was as easy as outbidding your competitors in Overture and even though MSN has no plans to immediately discontinue this partnership, rest assure that it is going to happen. The Overture and MSN partnership is inked up to the end of June 2006, which gives MSN plenty of time to further develop and test their new ad network. MSN already has plans to roll out AdCenter in Singapore and France in coming months in which will permanently bump Overture ads in the long run and let MSN own a major source of its advertising revenue.

MSN AdCenter will provide marketers and advertisers with an opportunity to profit. Microsoft will develop the third major paid online search advertising platform and at the same time provide an alternative to costly Google and Overture campaigns.

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