This is part 2 of the adcenter certification series. This topic covers the first topic in the certification “Introduction”. The different parts of the topic include
- Why adCenter
- Editorial Guidelines
- Landing Page Guidelines
- Landing Page Relevance
- Landing page quality and content
- Intellectual Property Guidelines
If you would like to read about the basics and processes around the certification, please refer to my previous post at http://www.urmilasinghal.com/2012/05/adcenter-certification-introduction.html
Customers can make a purchase, request services or sign-up for more information. Microsoft can track conversions for specific ads, helping you improve your campaign’s performance.
For Search advertising, Advertiser is only charged when a customer clicks on an ad
It targets audiences; helps reach 90 million MSN and Bing Users and make the most of your dollars.
Customizations including age, gender, location, day of week, time of day helps targeting better
• Editorial guidelines are required for ads, keywords and landing pages
• Ad Guidelines differ by country
• Reason of editorial guidelines is a positive user and advertiser experience. Users and customers have fewer reasons of complaint and legal protection for Microsoft.
• Capitalization and punctuation: Random or All caps is not allowed (GREAT, soFTware) unless word is branded or legitimate
• Special characters: Currency, trademark, copyright, model #, ISBN acronyms are allowed. Accents, superscripts, subscripts, enhanced fonts (bold, italic) are not allowed
• Punctuation: Use correct punctuation including a period at the end of the ad. Avoid consecutive exclamations in the ad (!!!)
• Character Limit: Also apply to dynamic text
• Spelling: Use correct spelling and grammar
• Character substitution: Some character substitutions are allowed like &.
• Phone numbers: Only allowed within an ad. Call to action is not allowed in ads
• Price Quotes: Should reflect current accurate price quote. Discounts may appear on ads only if price is clearly visible on landing page.
• Calls to action: Generic statements are not allowed. Limited discount statements are allowed.
Alcohol, tobacco, drugs
Firearms and fireworks
Gambling, illegal marketing, spam
Hate speech, profanity, violence, defamatory content
Illegal activities, fake documents, traffic device, cable descramblers, webcams
Religious, political and other restricted content
Landing Page Guidelines
• Landing pages should be relevant, load quickly and help users find what they want easily.
• MS will verify landing page for performance, relevance, quality/content and functionality.
• Landing page guidelines differ from country to country
• Landing page performance
o Stability and performance
Allowed: Responds reliably at all times
Not allowed: is under construction
o Landing page URL
Allowed: Uses static URL or dynamic text
Not allowed: Uses frames or session-specific URLs
o User registration
Allowed: Provides some useful content without registration
Not allowed: Forces user registration in order to view any content
Landing Page Relevance
• Directly related to the ad and search keyword
• Appears on the first page
• Displays keyword in text format
Landing page quality and content
Landing page quality is grouped into 2 buckets.
High quality landing page
• Adheres to editorial guidelines
• Offers unique and valuable goods, services or information
• Is interesting and well organized
• Makes it easy for visitors (to purchase product, sign up, create an account)
• Consists entirely of advertising
• Contains misleading offers
• Are flagged for suspicious behavior by spyware
• Present functionality problems
Landing Page functionality
Not allowed: Disabling back button or faking window closing, opening a pop-up window on landing page entrance or exit, automatic downloads
Allowed: Opening pop-up windows for language preference of a country or region selection, legit downloads initiated by user
• If collecting PII data, identify the name of the company
• State the purpose of collecting information
• Include an explicit opt-out for future communication
Intellectual Property Guidelines
Trademarks • Do not use a trademark if it infringes the rights of another party by confusing viewers.
• You can use a trademark if you provide information like a review, are a reseller, use the trademark as dictionary definition
Affiliates: If 2 ads have the same display URL, adCenter shows the ad with the best performing CTR.
Copyrights: You may not promote improper use of copyrighted material or market products/services that allow customers to bypass copyright protection
Clicks can be either standard or low quality clicks
Low quality clicks
• Include low commercial intent, pattern of unusual activity, clicks that originate from search engine robots or test servers. Advertisers are not billed for them.
• Invalid clicks are part of low quality clicks. They are usually navigational errors, search engine robots, fraudulent activity.
• Microsoft adCenter uses tools to identify low quality clicks, analyze patterns of increased traffic, etc
• Enabling conversion tracking might help identify spikes in traffic with low conversion rates which indicate low quality click activity