It’s still pretty early in the $150 million MSN search advertising campaign, but preliminary numbers from Neilsen/Netratings do not show any spikes yet. “NetRatings data for February, the first full month since Microsoft started its push, show no dramatic upsurge in usage of MSN Search.” according to the Silicon Vally / San Jose Business Journal.
MSN is depending on the payoff from it’s significant advertising push to create enough of an upsurge in useage to attract advertisers for its new advertising program. MSN adCenter was recently previewed showing impressive options for targeting including previews on user age, gender, geographic location, time of day and lifestyle characteristics.
Even in third position behind Google and Yahoo, I think MSN has enough consumer market reach to implement a successful paid advertising program against Google AdWords and Yahoo’s Overture.
Clickfraud is such an issue that additional options will allow advertisers more freedom to pick the network that will work best. Additionally, a MSN search paid advertising program offers an alternative to the second tier PPC services which are experiencing an even greater click fraud issue that AdWords and Overture.
In the end it will be a combination of results – for consumers in finding the information they want and for advertiers to achieve success in their paid search marketing programs that will determine the long term outcome for MSN search.