Getting Top Ad Position at Live Search

adCenter, Microsoft’s paid search provider has revealed a new formula in getting the top ad ranking of its search results. Top ad is the advertisement (Microsoft calls it mainline) that appears directly on top of the #1 organic search results.

The Microsoft folks say the criteria on calculating the mainline ranking used to be more rigid but now it has been relaxed, as a result of a “more dynamic” marketplace.

Only two things were mentioned, as essential elements that needed to be adjusted to get the mainline ad placement. Click Through Rate and Max Bid. While Max Bid can be adjusted manually, you have to have good ad performance to achieve a desired click through rate. So does this mean it’s just boils down to another bidding war? Probably not.

Other notable changes in this update:

  1. You could see your ads move in or out of the mainline depending on your CTR and set Max Bid
  2. You may need to bid more to maintain mainline positions
  3. You may see ads move up into the mainline without bidding more
  4. For ads remaining in the mainline, your actual CPC may increase

The above items are not only the things we can do to improve our ad quality. We can also fine tune ad copy, bid price and other key attributes as well as bearing in mind the Ad Ranking Best Practice Tips or post questions at the forum.

Microsoft promises to devote more time on the following focus points:

  • Quality of ads – that the ad copy aligns with offer, landing page and search term
  • Quality of advertisers – that the advertiser is offering unique and valuable goods, services or information
  • Quality set of overall listings – that the overall result set is unique, extremely relevant, high quality and the best value for the searcher

We will hear the verdict from the web regarding this change in a few days.