MSN Ends Paid Search Partnership with Yahoo!

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Monday, July 03, 2006

MSN Ends Paid Search Partnership with Yahoo!Yahoo and MSN are partners' no-more. As of July 1st, the MSN / Yahoo! agreement regarding the distribution of Yahoo! paid search listings has ended. That's right! Yahoo! Search Marketing advertisers will no longer have the luxury of having their PPC ads reach MSN's search result pages. Instead, MSN will be employing their own PPC program, MSN adCenter, to fit the bill.

MSN Ends Paid Search Partnership with Yahoo!

The time has finally arrived... Yahoo and MSN are partners' no-more. As of July 1st (this past Saturday) the MSN / Yahoo! agreement regarding the distribution of Yahoo! paid search listings has ended. That's right! Yahoo! Search Marketing advertisers will no longer have the luxury of having their PPC ads reach MSN's search result pages. Instead, MSN will be employing their own PPC program, MSN adCenter, to fit the bill.

Here is an official quote from the Yahoo! Search Marketing division:

"MSN's U.S. search distribution agreement with Yahoo! Search Marketing ends this month, and Yahoo! Sponsored Search listings will no longer appear in MSN's U.S. search results. Although we regret the loss of MSN as a distribution partner, it was not unexpected, and we do not anticipate a significant change in the total amount of traffic to our advertisers as a result."

My Thoughts

This shouldn't come as that big of a surprise to many... the MSN / Yahoo! days have been numbered ever since MSN first announced its plan to create a PPC program. In addition, for the past few months MSN has been serving many of its own adCenter ads, in place of Yahoo! ads, on its search results pages. This was most likely done to help search users and advertisers adjust to this weekend's transition.

So what exactly does this mean for Pay Per Click marketers? Well, if you haven't done so already, you should definitely consider breaking-down your overall Pay Per Click budget to accommodate MSN's new program. Most likely you've already split your advertising budget between Yahoo! Search Marketing and Google Adwords but now you really should consider making a third slice. Even though MSN's reach is no where near that of Google's and Yahoo's advertising networks, they still rake in over 40 million searches a month. That's traffic that no one should be missing out on.

What do you think? Does MSN have what it takes to compete on the frontlines with Yahoo!'s and Google's already established PPC programs, or do you think that they'll fall short? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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