Microsoft Claims Google Gets Too Much Credit

Brian McAndrews, senior vice president of Microsoft's Advertiser Publisher Solutions Group stated during a panel discussion at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco Thursday that Google is getting too much credit for conversions when they are the last place someone visits before making a purchase etc. - when the person usually visits numerous places before the final search is made.

McAndrews was talking about Microsoft's plan to launch conversion attribution tracking - where the user's previous ad exposure etc. is attached to longer tailed tracking.

"This situation has unfairly benefitted Google because many times someone will see a display ad on a site and go to Google, search for the vendor's name, and then click on the vendor's text ad served by Google," McAndrews said during the conference.

With "conversion attribution" "advertisers get a more complete understanding of how effective their marketing campaigns", he said.

"Along the way, advertisers will get a more balanced view of the value of their ads across a wider trail of Web sites and via a variety of ad formats, not just the last ad displayed by the last publisher, which is often Google", PC World reported.

"We'll introduce conversion attribution to give [more publishers] credit and it will devalue search [advertising]," McAndrews said.

The major drawback I see for this is when does the tracking start? Is all activity cookied? What will the privacy issue people say about this?

The concept is great if you don't mind all activity on the web being monitored. The actuality of being able to really attribute and filter what sparked what will be a huge undertaking.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.