I recently attended the PPC Summit in Los Angeles where I interacted with online marketers from around the country. To my surprise, many of the presenters at the conference referenced MSN adCenter Labs. This is Microsoft’s website for testing new prototypes of tools they are currently developing.

After returning from the conference, I decided to check it out for myself. Below is an overview of the tools I found most useful for optimizing your paid search campaigns:

Detecting Online Commercial Intention: Type in a keyword to view the probability that the keyword is commercial or non-commercial. In other words, this tool helps answer the question “Is the searcher a potential customer, or just researching information?” This tool clarifies exactly what the searcher is looking for.

Search Funnels: This is one of my favorite tools! MSN describes it as “a tool to help visualize and analyze our customer’s search behaviors.” You can see what your customers are searching for before & after they search on keywords you bid on. I entered in “Gucci” and, the tool yielded the graph below. You can use this information help better understand who you are marketing to. It can also help you create more relevant ad text.


Keyword Forecast: Think of this tool as a “snapshot” of a keywords demographics. This displays monthly impression history and age and gender statistics in easy-to-read bar graphs. You can choose to view the data as Flash, pictures, or text.

Keyword Mutation Detector: Use this to generate common keyword misspellings and variations. Unlike many keyword permutation tools, I was surprised that the variations seemed like real typos. It would be handy if you could export your results easily to a spreadsheet, but exporting is not yet a feature in this tool.

If you do decide to use these tools, take note of the disclosure of at the bottom of the page “The tools shown on the adlabs website are not yet in production; they are demos or prototypes of tools that we might include as production adCenter tools in the future.”

MSN adCenter Labs is a great resource for agencies and individuals to use when developing campaigns in unfamiliar industries. The tools reveal much more than just forecasted search volumes. Overall I was impressed with the prototypes and look forward to their actual release. I encourage you to visit MSN adCenter Labs, and see what you can get the tools to do for you!