As I noted in an earlier post, although Bing represented a big step forward for Microsoft in user experience, it was a step back for search advertisers in terms of amount of traffic sent to websites through paid clicks. Even more annoying: because Bing quickly stops serving ads for companies on whose ads a searcher doesn’t click, advertisers had difficulty assessing whether their ads were even running. Bing wouldn’t show advertisers their own ads (unless the advertisers cost themselves money by clicking on their own ads), so how could they know what the average searcher was seeing?
adCenter Ad Preview Tool – It Exists, But It’s Limited
Hiding inconspicuously on an account’s “Campaign” page, adCenter now features an Ad Preview Tool that enables advertisers to see a results page as it appears to a typical searcher, including all the ads that would appear to that searcher. Unfortunately, that’s all it does. Unlike Google’s tool, an advertiser can’t opt to see the ads showing to searchers in specific geographic regions. Also, if an ad isn’t showing, the tool also doesn’t offer any explanation as to why. Google’s Ad Preview Tool does, and that feature is a big plus, so we’re disappointed that Microsoft hasn’t emulated it yet.
Search Engine Marketers like Path Interactive have been nagging Microsoft for years about improving its toolset. It’s nice to see some progress, but it’s essential that they move more quickly to catch up with Google. Check back for more reports on their progress.
James Connell is Director of Search at Path Interactive