AdWords v. adCenter: The Basics

By Lauren Kade | Sep 16, 2011
More Articles by Lauren

I have recently started to wander into the world of Microsoft adCenter and all the wonderfully confusing ways that it is completely different from Google.  So as I start down the yellow brick road, I thought I’d share some of my findings!

Negative Keywords


In Google AdWords, you can have exact, phrase, and broad match negative keywords.  This allows you to exclude traffic both very specifically as well as on a broader spectrum.


In Microsoft adCenter, there are only phrase match negative keywords. (No exact or broad match options.)  So be very careful about exporting any negative keywords you have in Google!  You don’t want to exclude any relevant traffic.

Ad Character Limits


You have 25 characters for the headline, and 35 characters for each description line of the ad copy.


You are alloted the same 25 characters for the headline, but only 70 characters for the full ad copy body.  You might think: so what? 35 + 35 = 70 right?  Well in this case it doesn’t.  When you type into AdWords, Google automatically gives you a space in between line one and two.  In Bing, you’re typing it out into one long line, so you have to accommodate that space into your ad text!  I know I certainly have quite a few ads in AdWords right now that have both description lines right at 35 characters, so that could be a problem.



Google takes into consideration the user’s IP address, their search terms, and other related data.


Bing only consider’s the user’s IP address.  While this can sometimes be helpful, it will also exclude users, who, for example, are looking for the “best spa in NYC” who are not currently in NYC but vacationing there soon.  Because their IP address doesn’t match, your ad may not show the same way as in Google.

Therefore, if you’re exporting your campaigns from Google for Bing, take note!  Look at the exact negative keywords from Google to make sure you won’t loose any wanted traffic.  Make sure your ads are not cut off, and double check your geo-targeting.  Remember: Negative Keywords, Ad Character Limits, and Geo-Targeting.  Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! (couldn’t resist)

This post is in no way all-inclusive of the differences between Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter.  But as I learn more and more about Bing, I’ll write more.  For a great overview of the SMX East session “Best Practices With adCenter For Bing & Yahoo,” check out Chad Rhodes’ coverage in his live blog post.   If you’re also new to the world of Bing/Microsoft adCenter – what have you found that is different from Google AdWords?  Leave a comment below.

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