Microsoft Opens Content Ads Beta to All AdCenter Advertisers

Following what it called a Pilot test for selling ads on its own content sites, Microsoft will soon upgrade its adCenter offering to automatically offer access to its Content Ads Beta program.

As of August 29, Microsoft will offer all its adCenter search advertisers the ability to also place ads over its network of in-house sites, including MSN Tech & Gadgets, Money, Real Estate, and Windows Marketplace. Advertisers will be able to manage their campaign bidding and pricing for placement on content pages and have those ads ranked according to the same process used for their search campaigns, according to Natala Menezes, product manager, adCenter for Microsoft.

“They’ll have the opportunity [to] have ads shown on our ad network as well as on our search network,” she said.

Although Content Ads has already been through a Pilot phase with “many thousands” of participants, Microsoft is officially labeling the network offering a Beta test for the time being. The plan is to bring on more advertisers, additional Microsoft-owned Web sites and eventually partner sites like Digg and Facebook.

“Until we reach a capacity point where all our advertisers would get the most for their bids, we wanted to stay on Beta,” said Menezes.

All adCenter users will have their ads placed in the Content Ads Beta network by default unless they decide to opt out of placement. Menezes defended the decision to automatically ad the feature to adCenter accounts, saying it offered a time savings for advertisers.

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