Microsoft PubCenter, Microsoft’s competitor to Google’s AdSense and Yahoo’s Publisher Network, is being beta tested through ad network and layout optimization service, YieldBuild, and receiving positive results. We recently wrote about the encouraging reports we received from beta testers of PubCenter, which is a a self serve third party ad publishers platform similar to AdSense and Publisher Network.
YieldBuild is launching a new program for publishers which provides premium text ads to websites using Microsoft PubCenter (which is part of Microsoft’s AdCenter) as the source of high-quality text ads to run alongside existing text and display ads. YieldBuild uses computer algorithms to automatically optimize a website’s ad spots with the most profitable combination of ad layout, style, and network.
What’s interesting is that YieldBuild’s beta testers of the new text ad program with PubCenter ads have seen improvements of over 100% in effective CPM rates for clients, according to the company. But Paul Edmondson, CEO of YieldBuild says that the optimal ad plan for publishers is to have a mix of AdSense and and PubCenter ads on their sites because both networks are highly complementary to each other. Some of the publishers who have tested the program already have AdSense ads, so the PubCenter ads are integrated with the AdSense ads. Edmondson says that the addition of PubCenter Ads increases publisher CPM rates across the board, with one publisher increasing the CPM rate by more than ten times.
Now qualified publishers have a back door to start using PubCenter Ads, which has been in private beta testing since last summer. Edmondson confirms that PubCenter is an incredibly strong ad network that rivals AdSense. Google has dominated this space in the past (and all other contextual advertising) because it offers publishers higher fees for ads. But this might change when Microsoft unveils PubCenter to the greater publisher community, particularly if Microsoft is aggressive in revenue splits to gain market share. And this is the second report of high quality ads and higher CPMs with PubCenter than with AdSense.
As we said in our last post about PubCenter, we’ve heard that PubCenter is being tested by a small subset of web publishers and that one pilot publisher is receiving four times more in revenue from Microsoft than Google AdSense. Our source also said that PubCenter’s advertisements are higher quality than Google’s ads and equally as targeted towards the content. We also heard that Microsoft is allowing publishers to get creative with ads by allowing them to set background images. Google AdSense only allows publishers to change the color of the ads.
The YieldBuild partnership and beta results only seem to reinforce the strength of Microsoft’s PubCenter. And while they may be anecdotal, all signs point to a head-to-head competition between PubCenter and AdSense. Anyone want to take bets?