The Search Low Down

The Lowdown on Google Adwords and MSN AdCenter

Google AdWords: Google is currently the largest and most popular search engine in the world with an approximate market share of 67% as of January 2011.  The AdWords program has always been an innovator in the paid search arena and sets the bar for other platforms.  Of the search engine advertising programs, Google AdWords is the most feature rich and user-friendly.  Google’s partnership with smaller search providers and hundreds of thousands of websites means that an advertiser has the opportunity to reach an even wider audience than that provided by

Google AdWords:

o Google estimated market share of 67% ( January 2011)

o Most feature rich and user-friendly paid search platform

​MSN AdCenter:  The recent merger of MSN and Yahoo Search has greatly expanded AdCenter’s reach in the natural and paid search world, though it’s approximate market share of 28% is still considerably lower than Google’s.  Both MSN and Yahoo are legacy search engines with origins early in the era of popular web use.  As such, these engines have a relatively large number of ‘grandfathered’ users who have been loyal to these platforms since early in their own online ventures.  With the introduction of Bing in 2009, the MSN search market share has pulled out the steady decline it experienced through the early 2000s and Bing has since grown into the flagship product in the MSN line.

MSN AdCenter:

o Market share of 28% (appx.) is considerably lower than Google’s

o Recent MSN/Yahoo merger – both legacy engines w/loyal users

The Differences:

o Click and impression volume lower for MSN

o Top positions cheaper and easier to obtain in MSN

o MSN has fewer features and targeting options

o MSN users tend to be older and have a lower household income

o MSN users are more often female

Kate McGuire