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How to Use MSN’s Content and Partner Networks for Online Marketing

MSN opts all new online ad groups into its search, content, and partner search networks by default. The search network is the search engines of Bing.com and Yahoo.com and is referred to as the unified marketplace. This means that ads shown in search results on Bing.com and Yahoo.com are serving ads from MSN adCenter, and you can’t tell which search engine an ad served on. It is all aggregated together.

The content network comprises all Microsoft properties, including MSN Money, MSN Autos, Jobs, and Windows Marketplace. Other participating partner websites like NBC.com and Online.wsj.com are included. The content network is only available to U.S., Canada, and India customers.

The concept remains the same as Google’s display network: Ads appear alongside relevant content on web pages across these properties at a given CPC. You can set a different maximum CPC for the content network.

The syndicated search partner network is a collection of publishers (websites) that have partnered with Bing/Yahoo! search and show adCenter ads on their sites, alongside search results performed on their site. For example, if you were to go to the PCWorld website (a syndicated search partner) and search for netbook laptop, you would be shown a page of search results. Alongside those results on PCWorld would be ads from adCenter.

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The syndicated search partner network contains some high-quality sites like PCWorld but also a lot of very low-quality sites, parked pages, and often irrelevant sites. Make sure that if you want to use this network, you set up a separate campaign. Do not combine it with Bing and Yahoo! search or the content network. Check which sites are showing your ads, and begin excluding sites that are performing poorly.

You can also disable this network at the ad group level until you’re comfortable with PPC and adCenter. To opt out at the ad group level, follow these steps:

  1. Open the ad group.

  2. Click the Edit Your Ad Group Settings link.

  3. Click the Ad Distribution link under Advanced Settings.

  4. Select the Bing and Yahoo! Search (Owned and Operated) Only radio button.

    This step enables your ads to only show on Bing.com and Yahoo.com search results pages.

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  5. Deselect the Content Network check box, and leave the Search Network box selected.

    This step makes it so you are now opted out of the Content Network.

  6. Click Save.

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