Last week in a blog post meant to defend and demystify the process, Microsoft’s Maryn Juergens made the case that the adCenter editorial experience benefited advertisers and users alike by only allowing the most relevant copy and landing pages to be approved, making clicks more likely to convert and users more likely to return to Bing for future searches. Asking advertisers not to “let the adCenter editorial review process scare you,” she explains that editorial is in place to ensure advertisers comply with guidelines and insists that the customer support team addresses appeals as quickly as possible. With all due respect to Ms. Juergens and the Microsoft adCenter editorial team, there are legitimate reasons why advertisers should be at least a little scared of the adCenter editorial review process. We understand that editorial review exists to ensure users receive high quality and relevant ads, however, the adCenter implementation is an overly cumbersome hurdle in the keyword/ad creation and modification process. In our experience, regardless of how well one follows adCenter’s Editorial Guidelines, something will inevitably be flagged with a “Pending Editorial Review” AKA “Inactive” status when a large bulk edit is made. This review process, as stated by the adCenter Support Center, can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete. Contact Us” page or contact your account rep (if you have one) to escalate the matter to the editorial team. Account reps cannot manually override or otherwise expedite the editorial process; in our experience, the appeal process usually takes another 24-48 hours (ie. 1-2 business days). A couple days doesn’t seem that long in the big scheme of things, but consider a worst-case scenario where you’re running a one-week promotion that starts on Saturday at midnight. If caught in the “Pending Editorial Review” and/or “Appeal” process, your promotional copy might only end up being active for a few of those days with advertisers missing out on the additional sales from users who might have otherwise taken advantage of the promotion. To account for the potential delay, you could load “Paused” ads a day or two before a promotion begins, but unlike with Google AdWords, adCenter ads are only submitted through the editorial process after they have been “Activated.” Advertisers essentially have to choose between activating their promo copy after a promo begins, missing out on potential clicks while their copy is pending review, or activating promo copy in advance and paying for lower-converting clicks in the event that the copy gets through editorial quickly and begins showing before the promo actually begins (not to mention deal with the potential backlash from irritated customers who didn’t get the advertised promotion). Both options disadvantage users, advertisers, and Bing itself since users don’t get the most relevant results at the right time - making them less likely to make a purchase and less likely to return to Bing for future searches. It gets a little “scarier” when you consider the sales lost when a potentially high traffic keyword or ad is disapproved, for example, one containing your own trademark. This is especially concerning now that Microsoft has recently changed their approach to policing trademark issues - meaning that the longer it takes to get trademark terms active, the longer your competitors can sit unchallenged in top positions on your trademarks, stealing away potential customers. We try to fix disapprovals ourselves as quickly as possible; however, sometimes a reason isn’t given for why a particular keyword or ad is disapproved. Tinkering with elements of the KW/ad in the hopes that you can stumble across the reason for disapproval is both tedious and impractical. In cases where you wish to contest the reason that is given (i.e. but my landing page IS relevant!) the process involves submitting a form or contacting your account rep.
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