Posted August 13, 2007 8:36 pm by with 12 comments

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I’m not an active user of Microsoft’s adCenter, so I need your help with validating reports that the service has been offline for many users for the last four days.

Scott Gardner, owner of Fair Market Valuations–a good friend and a 6+ year veteran of the SEO industry–emailed me to let me know that his account has been offline for four days now.

Says Scott in an email…

My ads all of a sudden stopped appearing on Live Search for Fair Market Valuations. Thinking I may have paused the account, I signed in but couldn’t see a thing wrong. I’ve now been on a couple of phone calls for at least 30 minutes combined the MSN reps have no idea what is wrong with my account. My ads just won’t serve! A little while ago the MS agent put me hold 3 times ending with thanks for being patient, it’s something we’re seeing in other accounts and are trying to figure out what’s happening?.I have no answer for you; this has been 4 days for me so far.

Scott also sent me the following screenshot:

Click to enlarge

Four days is a long time for any account to be offline and especially bad if this is affecting multiple advertisers. Leave me a comment or drop me an email if you’re having a similar issue. In the meantime, I’ll drop them an email.

UPDATE: We’re now on day five and no official word back from Microsoft.

UPDATE 2: It appears it takes getting on the homepage of Digg, to get an official response from Microsoft’s PR team…

In response to your request for comment from MSFT as it relates to your story on adCenter being offline to a user for four days, this appears to be an isolated incident which the customer support team is investigating. There are no known systemic outages of adCenter at this time. Customer support will be in touch with this customer as soon as possible to address the issue.

  • Four days is really a long time. And the interesting thing is nobody know what is happening on MS. like a comedy:)

  • How do you not know what’s happening? The really need to learn their own system and get this fixed.

  • Seems to be working for our campaigns. Serious issue though – you’d hope they’d put a bit of resource into fixing / working out what’s going on at least…

  • As of 1pm EST on Tuesday, ads still are not being served on MSN Live Search with NO response from the AdCenter team. While MSN can’t touch the number of clicks and leads we get from Google & Yahoo PPC, it’s really surprising that they can’t figure out how to fix the problem and let me spend money! I’ll be sure to provide an update once it’s fixed and how MS handled the situation.

    The AdCenter team may need some reputation monitoring services in the not so distant future ;-).

  • 08/14/07 4:30pm – After another painstaking experience with AdCenter having no answers and them bringing in the “Investigation Team”….they finally called back with an answer. They said their system has scaled back ad serving on our account based on participation rates and algorithmic-based assumptions. Their solution: double my budget, decrease my bids by 50%, give it a couple of weeks to gather more data and see what happens.

    Our campaigns launched in early-June and they said they take a full month of data and then make assumptions on participation rates, going forward. Funny thing is that in the month of July (the full month of assessment), I didnt even spend 50% of my monthly budget with MSN and my ad participation rates were 92.7% across the board (account was turned off 12am – 7am daily). Now, they’re saying my participation rates are a measley 7% for the month of August. None of the account settings were ever changed from July to August (same monthly budget, bids, ads, etc)!! They have no answer for this…it’s just how their system calculates.

    Their solution is to 2X our monthly budget and 1/2 our bids……even though we only spent 50% of our budget in the previous month while at a 92% participation rate. Say what???? Something is amis with AdCenter’s “Participation Rates”, IMHO. Here is a link explaining this concept they apply to new accounts:

    Needless to say I have not had any problems like this with Google & Yahoo PPC; plus they’re able to spend up our budgets and bring us traffic. We’ll see what happens.


  • “[…]refer to this error number: 1.”

    No wonder they can’t solve this problem :p

  • cmk

    I had been getting the error in the screenshot yesterday as well. The error came up any time I tried to advance to the next screen (I added a new ad and clicked save – error; added keywords and clicked continues – error). Our MSN contact told us it could be a temporary glitch or a deeper problem – try again tomorrow. I did, and it worked just fine.

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  • it is a comedy or advertisement? I ask you all?

  • I’ve had no problems accessing AdCenter. It’s not been offline for four days.

  • @Dan some users’s acounts has been offline for four days. Not all of users.

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