Since the Yahoo & MSN Search Alliance has finalized, many PPC advertisers are just now getting familiar with the Microsoft adCenter system and learning the differences between adCenter and Google AdWords. Apparently though not all transitions are smooth ones and this one is no exception.
According to a thread over at WebmasterWorld
"In the last few days several of our adcenter accounts have suddenly stopped generating spend. These are accounts with hundreds of adgroups and thousands of keywords. It's a sudden issue, but I suspect its somehow related to the migration. My reps have said they have other clients facing similar issues, but I can't find anything on the forums about it.
My server logs show short bursts of traffic for maybe an hour in the early morning and then not a single impression the rest of the day. Bids are not the issue, as I've tested raising some bids to 400% of their current levels and the ads still aren't showing."
A similar sentiment was echoed at the Microsoft adCenter Community Forums by a user who stated that they woke up to find all the campaigns in their account delivering zero impressions and clicks. They contacted customer support and learned that there was a
"..known system-side bug impacting a subset of advertisers. Starting this week, and occurring "randomly and intermittently", some accounts had their Ad Distribution setting set to "Not set", basically pausing all ad groups and campaigns in the account. This can be seen in the Medium column on the Ads tab. Unfortunately manually setting ad distribution to Search Network or other does not fix the problem. No known estimate to fix this..."
There have been back and forths with Microsoft customer service and multiple people have confirmed having the same and/or similar issues. Some people are reporting that it's strictly a reporting bug while others are stating this to be just an issue of bid adjustments that need made after the transition.
Microsoft representative Tina Kelleher was able to confirm (at the WebmasterWorld thread) that this was in fact a bug and that MSN was aware of it and had rolled out a fix as of yesterday. However, it would seem that the problem persists and the fix didn't correct the issue for all users.
We reached out to Kelleher for an official word from Microsoft on the issue and also received the following clarification:
There was a reporting bug last week that affected some users, but it was resolved last Friday... there are no open bugs right now. If advertisers are seeing a drop in impressions, the most likely scenario is that they didn't increase their budgets (per the recommendations we made) prior to the Yahoo! transition and as a result, are hitting their budget limits sooner than expected. If any of your readers are seeing any issues with their adCenter accounts, they should either post details in the Microsoft Advertising Community forums, which are monitored by support staff, or else contact support via email or phone to describe their issue.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!