Microsoft Brings Search Ad System In-House

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Today, Microsoft announced plans to launch a search advertising system in the US by June that will up the ante against Google and Yahoo.

Since last spring, the company has been testing out their online advertising platform, adCenter, which is currently said to account for about 25 percent of the sponsored links that accompany regular search results on the MSN Search site. With the launch of the full system in June, that number is predicted to rise to 100 percent.

Currently, Microsoft continues to outsource the job of providing such sponsored links to Yahoo’s Overture Services, but that job will now be brought in-house—all in an attempt to catch up to the success Google has had by selling ad placements next to their search results.

Microsoft’s growing plans for adCenter include offering companies ways to buy online advertising space on multiple platforms (such as blogging sites). Additionally, adCenter’s R and D department has been working on a technology for advertisers to more accurately target their ads with a series of tools that will provide highly detailed demographic information. Expect those to debut sometime between six months to a year from now.

In other Microsoft news, as a joint effort between Microsoft’s Redmond-based adCenter and experts in its Chinese research lab, the company has also announced the launch of adCenter Incubation Lab (adLab) which is performing much of that aforementioned ad targeting work. The technology produced therein aims to give advertisers a better understanding of their consumers’ traits, age and gender in order to target ads more effectively.

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