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MSN to launch its own sponsored links program

MSN announced yesterday it will launch its own self-service paid listing program similar to those run by Yahoo and Google. It will be tested in France and Singapore within the next six months. The date for a worldwide rollout has not been set.

MSN, which has been using Yahoo’s Overture sponsored link program, had been expected to begin its own ad program following Yahoo’s purchase of Overture a couple years ago. It’s become more urgent with MSN’s launch of its own search engine earlier this year.

For law firms buying sponsored links, MSN is going to be the third place to buy sponsored links (Google & Yahoo being the first). The program is set to operate on a broad match basis, but like Google law firms will be able to target specific words and phrases, plus have exclusion options.

And by the way, for you heavy hitters like Martindale’s lawyers.com, until the new program rolls out, MSN is continuing with its long-standing Featured Sites in the US, where advertisers spending at least $75,000 per month can get top placement for terms they want to target, above any of the results provided by Yahoo. (note it appears Martindale pays at least $75,000 per month in that they are on top on MSN, but not on Yahoo, for the term Lawyers.

Bottom line though, organic search engine results, not the sponsored links on top and on the side of displayed results, remain king. Google dominates MSN as far as number of users and 75% of Google users do not trust sponsored links – they go for the organic results that show up as a result of strong regularly updated content.

Source of post: SearchEngineWatch

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