True PPC Ad Rotation Finally Comes to Microsoft adCenter

Microsoft adCenter came to being in the summer of 2006. Generally speaking the advertising platform was greeted with open arms, but there were a few areas that were lacking.

One specific area of concern was how adCenter handled PPC ad rotation. There were no options, just a default “optimized” setting that displayed the ad with higher CTR more frequently.

Thanks to AdWords, savvy PPC advertisers already knew the benefits of being able to rotate ads evenly in order conduct genuine A/B tests for ad copy and to test KPIs other than CTR. Over the past six years there has been an overwhelming chorus of dissent towards adCenter for the lack of an ad rotation feature.

Finally, those voices have been heard. Even ad rotation is here!

The ad rotation feature is only available in the web interface or through version 8 of the adCenter API. That being said, it functions much as you would expect. At the ad group level, you have two options:

  • Optimize for clicks: This is how adCenter has functioned all along, displaying the ad with the best CTR more frequently.
  • Rotate ads more evenly: This feature will now provide you with even ad rotation regardless of CTR.


This great feature update doesn’t come without some drawbacks. Managing this feature will be a challenge, particularly for large accounts. Here is what you need to watch out for:

  • There is no support for this feature through the adCenter Desktop Tool.
  • There is no support for this feature through bulk spreadsheets.
  • The feature can only be edited at the ad group level through the web interface.
  • This means you will have to update your ad groups one-by-one.

So it seems that adCenter has dangled a large carrot in front of PPC advertisers, but they don’t want anyone to get the price too easily! All joking aside, it is a huge step forward for Microsoft adCenter to offer an even ad rotation feature.

Once you get past the tedious process of making the update for your accounts, it will be smooth sailing to start testing your PPC ads for conversion rate, CPA, and revenue goals. Good luck!

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