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I think I’ve made enough references to the fact that I work in the search engine marketing space at Microsoft, but I thought I’d put a little clarity around what that means.

In a nutshell, I help agencies set up, manage and maintain their pay-per-click campaigns on adCenter, the platform Microsoft built a couple of years ago in answer to Google’s Adwords and Yahoo’s Overture.  Not familiar with either of those?  I’ll try to summarize.

When you go to a search engine like Live.com and enter in some keywords, your search results page will display two types of listings: organic and pay-per-click (PPC) listings.  The organic ones are the larger ones to the left — these are the results that the search engine’s algorithm brought back based on the relevance of the page to the keywords searched on.  The PPC listings are the smaller ones off to the right, appearing below the “Sponsored Listings” title (circled below):

PPC listings also appear based on relevance to the keywords searched on, but these are paid for by advertisers who bid on keywords relevant to the products/services they’re trying to promote.  Much like Ebay, the top bidder gets the higher positioning.

On the back end of getting those paid ads to appear is a web-based platform where advertisers create their campaigns, ad groups, ads and keywords.  AdCenter is that platform for Microsoft.  You can learn more about adCenter by visiting the adCenter Community site.

I’m going to refrain from delving much deeper than this on any SEM topics as whatever I could say has already been covered a thousand times on sites like Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land and SEMPO.  In addition, anything that I write that’s going to be worth posting will be going up on the adCenter Community site.  I just wanted to add a little clarity around what it is I do for anyone who might be reading this and is unfamiliar with search engine marketing.

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