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Microsoft was the last of the "big three" search engines (which also includes Google and Yahoo!) to develop its own system for delivering pay per click (PPC) ads. Until the beginning of 2006, all of the ads displayed on the MSN Search engine were supplied by Overture (and later Yahoo!). MSN collected a portion of the ad revenue in return for displaying Yahoo!'s ads on its search engine.
As search marketing grew, Microsoft began developing its own system, MSN adCenter, for selling PPC advertisements directly to advertisers. As the system was phased in, MSN Search (now Bing) showed Yahoo! and adCenter advertising in its search results. Microsoft effort to create AdCenter was led by Tarek Najm, then general manager of the MSN division of Microsoft. In June 2006, the contract between Yahoo! and Microsoft had expired and Microsoft was displaying only ads from adCenter until 2010.
In November 2006 Microsoft acquired DeepMetrix, a company situated in Gatineau, Canada, that created web-analytics software. Microsoft has built new product AdCenter Analytics based on the acquired technology. In October, 2007 the Beta version of Microsoft Project Gatineau was released to a limited number of participants.
In May 2007, Microsoft agreed to purchase the digital marketing solutions parent company, aQuantive, for roughly $6 billion.
On February 23, 2009, Publisher Leadership Council was created under the umbrella of Microsoft Advertising. The council was responsible to deliver the next-generation advertising platform for the publishers of digital media resulting in the formation of Microsoft pubCenter.
In January 2010, Microsoft announced a deal in which it would take over the functional operation of Yahoo! Search, and set up a joint venture to sell advertising on both Yahoo! Search and Bing known as the Microsoft Search Alliance. A complete transition of all Yahoo! sponsored ad clients to Microsoft adCenter occurred in October 2010.
On September 10, 2012, adCenter was renamed as Bing Ads, and the Search Alliance was renamed the Yahoo! Bing Network.
Similar to Google AdWords, Bing Ads uses both the maximum amount an advertiser is willing to pay per click (PPC) on their ad and the advertisement's click-through rate (CTR) to determine how frequently an advertisement is shown. This system encourages advertisers to write effective ads and to advertise only on searches which are relevant to their advertisement.
Bing Ads allows advertisers to target their ads by restricting their ads to a given set of demographics and by increasing their bids whenever the ad is seen by a user of a certain demographic. As of November 2006, no other PPC advertising system has a similar feature. Similarly, Bing Ads allows advertisers to run their ads on specific days of the week or certain times of day.
Similar to AdWords Editor, Bing Ads provide an desktop tool to manage campaigns offline, called as Bing Ads Editor. Using this editor you can make offline changes to your campaigns and later sync it online.
Bing Ads also provides APIs that can be used to manage advertising campaigns.
- Peterson, Kim (2006-05-04). "Microsoft's adCenter is Google, Yahoo! rival". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
- "Microsoft Project Gatineau - Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions". Microsoft. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
- "Microsoft's Web Analytics Product Project Gatineau Now In Private Beta". Search Engine Land. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
- "Microsoft Pays $6 billion for aQuantive: Massive Ad Network Consolidation Is Occuring [sic]". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
- Microsoft Acquires European Mobile Ad Firm - ClickZ
- Microsoft acquires 'ad exchange' company AdECN | Tech news blog - CNET News.com
- Microsoft Acquires YaData - InternetNews:The Blog - Kenneth Corbin
- Microsoft Advertising Announces Formation of Publisher Leadership Council, February 23, 2009, News Press Release, Microsoft
- Foley, Mary Jo. "Microsoft gives Yahoo name top billing in Microsoft advertising rebrand". ZDnet. Retrieved 10 September 2012.