September 16, 2010, 6:14 PM

Microsoft plans to roll out new paid search features

The Bing-Yahoo search alliance will provide new ways for marketers to manage and track ads.

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As part of the new paid search alliance from Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc., the Microsoft adCenter paid search platform will offer several new features designed to make it easier for marketers to manage and track their ads, Microsoft says.

For analytics and conversion tracking, adCenter is coming out with enhancements to reports that will provide new information on conversion rates, revenue from conversions, advertising cost, visitor volume and and shopping behavior on the advertiser’s web site, a spokeswoman for Microsoft says. AdCenter will also provide new information about sources of traffic to the advertiser’s web site, and segmentation of traffic by attributes such as age, gender, and geography, she adds.

In addition, following the completion of the transition from Yahoo Search Marketing to adCenter for powering paid search for Yahoo, any advertiser will be able to apply to use adCenter’s application programming interface, or API, to automate their management of paid search. For example, this would enable marketers to more easily access data on keyword performance and make adjustments to their campaigns.

“Historically, only very large advertisers had API access into the adCenter system,” the spokeswoman says. “Following the search alliance transition, any advertiser will be able to apply to obtain access to the adCenter API to automate the management of the paid search campaigns.

Microsoft and Yahoo say they hope to complete their paid search transition by the middle of October, though they’ve said they could postpone it until January if any difficulties arise that could impede marketers’ holiday season campaigns. The two companies completed their natural search transition last month, with Microsoft’s Bing search engine now providing natural search results on Yahoo sites.


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