Trick or Treat? Microsoft Open Up Analytics Program

Microsoft, in its desperate scramble to get back on the online ad train, today announced the availability of the Gatineau Web Analytics program, an enhancement to the MSN AdCenter paid search platform that’s also open to webmasters in general. Like other analytics programs (*cough cough* Google *cough*) there will be information on specific visitors, clickthrough tracking, keywords, demographic/geographic information as well as analytics to help advertisers better track the success of their AdCenter campaigns.

It’s interesting and invigorating to see MS taking this market so seriously, even though they’re clearly far behind where Google, and even Yahoo, are. I must admit that I, like many other paid search managers, find the AdCenter software cumbersome and even frustrating to use. Yet, the traffic from MSN is more captive (and cheaper) than the competitors and results in strong conversions, making it a vital paid of every comprehensive paid search campaign. I look forward to using the new analytics program and hope it makes my job of keeping paid search campaigns profitable more easy… Let’s just hope they make it easy to use for people managing multiple accounts, multiple campaigns, and many, many ad groups.