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Microsoft's AdCenter Publisher: A Competitor for Google’s AdSense?

written by: Bruce Tyson•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 4/25/2011

Microsoft PubCenter's advertising platform, adCenter Publisher, was designed to give Google AdSense some competition, but will it be a serious challenger to the AdSense program? Though still in beta, PubCenter's adCenter has earned some positive feedback from the beta testers. Read on to learn more.

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    So far, Google has been dominating the contextual and content-based online advertising marketplace with its popular AdSense advertising format. Now, Microsoft is aggressively creating an advertising platform that could provide a serious competition to Google AdSense. Prensently, called the PubCenter, Microsoft’s latest advertising tool is supposed to be loaded with features that would make it more appealing to present and prospective advertisers. In all probability, Microsoft will offer a greater split in the revenue to uproot Google’s market dominance among the media/content publishers.

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    First Impressions

    This isn't speculation of any kind as the PubCenter is being currently beta-tested by a few web publishers. The initial feedback is that the revenue generated through the PubCenter is much more than what AdSense can offer. In fact, most of the initial beta testers have been reporting a four-to-five time greater revenue. Further, the general perception is that the quality of ads created is also much better. Google’s AdSense had been under some criticism in the past two years for allowing literally any advertiser into its revenue-sharing program. However, Microsoft has promised that it would create a stricter and more systematic system for its patrons.

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    PubCenter’s Development & Features

    Microsoft’s adCenter Publisher is the basis for PubCenter’s configuration, though it is presently in the Beta stage. PubCenter will incorporate the popular tools that are a part of other popular Microsoft offerings like Rapt and Atlas. This convergence of previously-tested technologies would be complemented by some major improvements like:

    • More precise forecasting of online visitor trends with detailed graphs and figures — A major improvement in the format of analysis that will exceed the benchmark set by Google Analytics
    • Better advertising optimization solutions, including more options for personalization of ad banners — this is perhaps the most-talked about feature of PubCenter. Ad customization options are aplenty, including templates offering a range of alternatives for graphics, i.e. image and colored base patterns, and the display of the textual part of the ad
    • Detailed analysis of ad content and constant monitoring of their updates to ensure that only matching (i.e. content-centric comparisons) ads appear on more relevant web pages/search results — something at which Google has been struggling. This will translate into higher click-through-rates
    • The advertised brands would be delivered through multiple offerings which could include all or any of the following:

    MSN, Office, Live Search, Windows Live or Xbox.

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    Being Meticulous: Publisher Leadership Council

    Microsoft is very serious about ensuring that its new advertising format is capable of beating any contemporary form of competition. It has just created a consortium called the Publisher Leadership Council, which is basically a collaboration of various web-based and other digital publishers. They will be an integral part of PubCenter’s developmental process. This essentially means that some of the best advertising talent from across the nation, including professionals from The New York Times and Viacom, would be giving their feedback regarding PubCenter’s performance and helping it to constantly improve. This is bound to increase PubCenter’s market appeal since it would gain from first-hand insight into consumer preferences and perspectives that would be reported by this team of publishing professionals.