How to use the New MSN Ad Intellegence PPC Tool like a Pro

A look at MSN Ad Center- Ad Intelligence Excel plug in.

Now that the MSN Ad Intelligence Excel Plug in has been out for about 3 months, and I’ve had a chance to use all of its features, attended a webinar and read all possible documentation on it; I decided to put together a quick start guide for those interested in adding a new and useful tool to their PPC bag of tricks. OR for those who have downloaded it already and are wondering “what the hell do all of those colorful little buttons do?”

This will be a 3 part series of posts. In the first, we will cover all of the buttons on the Excel toolbar and what they do. The second will discuss various uses for each of the buttons/features and a more detailed analysis of algorithms’ and techniques used by MSN to gather the data for this toolbar. The third will discuss various uses and combination uses with Google Adwords editor.


Keyword Extraction
Extracts commonly used keywords from a given website address, which allows the user to see what keywords are in popular use on that site. Great for competitive analysis and finding new keywords.

Keyword Suggestion
Enables quick generation of a large list of relevant keywords from an initial list of Keywords entered. Works something like the Google Suggestions or Yahoo.

Campaign Association
An algorithm option under Keyword Suggestion. Keywords are suggested based on association and on competition/ advertiser’s keyword bidding behavior.
Another great option to find new, niche keywords.

An algorithm option under Keyword Suggestion above. Keywords are suggested based on past user searches that contained those keywords.

An algorithm option under Keyword Suggestion above. Keywords are suggested, which are similar in context to other keywords used on the World Wide Web.

Search Buzz
Returns the top keywords by vertical market, for the given time period. Two keyword trend research options are offered Date Ranges available: past 1, 10, 30 or 60 day period or a custom range

Monthly Traffic
Allows the user to look at monthly historical and future, forecasted query counts for the given keywords. Date ranges available: past data for 1, 3, 6, 12 or 24 month period forecasted for 1, 3, 6 or 12 months

Daily Traffic
Provides the user with daily query counts for the given keywords. Date ranges available: past data for 1, 7, 10, 30 or 60 day period — or you may specify a time period.

Keyword Categorization
Input keywords, then the algorithm suggests a category based on the Microsoft Contextual Taxonomy.

Provides location information of searchers for specific keywords (user can specify country, state or city) about the input keywords within a set time period. Date ranges available : past data for 1, 7, 10, 30 or 60 day period — or you may specify a time period.

Provides demographic information on searchers (by gender, age group) about the given keywords within a set time period. Great research tool to use for a PPC Demographic targeting tests. Date ranges available : past data for 1, 7, 10, 30 or 60 day period — or you may specify a time period

This feature allows users to set the algorithm parameters for the features to suit their preferences, algorithm or needs.

This feature allows users to change general settings, KSP server settings and algorithm Settings, to suit their preferences or needs.

This feature allows users to gather KPI (Key Performance Indicators) Monetization Information for the selected keywords. This feature has two sub-features: Monetization and Vertical KPIs as described below. Date ranges available: past day, week or 30 day period.

Monetization KPI
An option under monetization above. This feature provides KPI information about clicks, impressions, position, click through rate, cost per click, and match type within a date range. Date ranges available: past day, week or 30 day period.

An option under Monetization above. This feature returns KPI Monetization Information for selected verticals and keywords within a date range. Date ranges available: past day, week or 30 day period.

Top Spiky Keywords
Returns the keywords whose trends are sudden and spiking (i.e. not overall popularity, but demonstrate flashing and surging popularity). Similar to Google Trends , but still has a long way to go. Date Ranges available: past 1, 10, 30 or 60 day period or a custom range.

Top Frequent Keywords
Displays the keyword trends for the overall most popular keywords. Date ranges available: past day, week or 30 day period.

Keyword Wizard
The Keyword Wizard button assists users in implementing all applicable features available. Wizard through the program in order to set up a working keyword profile.

This tool would be a lot more useful if MSN could manage to scrape up a little more than 10% market search share. Because the reality of it is, not only does MSN hardly provide enough traffic, but the traffic they do provide is extremely inconsistent.

It fluctuates week to week with no rhyme or reason. Their interface is constantly running at the speed of molasses. And their customer service is practically nonexistent, and that’s with a dedicated rep. Now, with all that said and out of the way, I like the tool. It’s genius is that it integrates right with excel. Granted, MSN tool looks much cooler than Google Adwords Editor. But, Adwords Editor is sooo much more useful in day to day PPC management and development than the MSN tool.

Although used in combination, they add a powerful tool to your PPC war chest. (And if anyone from Google Adwords Editor Team or MSN Ad Intelligence team is reading, why not steal the others idea and develop a tool that incorporates the great research and historical data features in the MSN tool, with the practical and useful features for creating, editing and manipulating Google Adwords account data with Adwords Editor. ; )



13 things you could be doing with RSS, that you probably aren’t!

Slicing, Dicing and Splicing RSS like an Iron Chef


RSS is my friend, without it I could never stay current with the 200+ feeds I subscribe to. But besides just aggregating feeds from my favorite blogs, I have found several other cool uses for my RSS reader, which allow me to save both time and money.

The RSS reader is a great place to find new content. From ideas for linkbait to images for your blog post. With the right feeds and settings the possibilities are endless ,but in the meantime, here are a lucky 13 to keep you busy.

1 –

Here is a RSS mashup on Yahoo Pipes that makes your boring old Digg RSS feed into a SUPER Digg rss feed. It adds category information, submitter information (with a link to the users page), Digg count, number of comments, etc..

2 –

Here is a Yahoo Pipes mash up that works with Digg, Delicous, Reddit and slahdot. With this one you can filter and search by keyword, user profiles , and tags.


This pipe enables you to monitor what the world is saying about your brand, company, product or url. It checks Google Blogs, Technorati, IceRocket, Blog Pulse, Yahoo News, MSN News and Google News


Here is a simple Yahoo and Google News mashup , which allows you to filter and customize the feeds.


The idea behind this mash-up is to find questions that aren’t getting answered on Yahoo Answers and also helps you filter the results to make finding new content easier and faster.


Combine your facebook status with blog feeds, news searches, twitter, flickr and youtube.


A combination of New Yorker, New York Times Magazine and Vanity Fair feeds. This pipe also allows for customization of all the results.



To create a mashup for ANY RSS feed, check out this tutorial on building a really easy RSS filter with Yahoo Pipes.


Get notified of the BEST deals before the sell out.

Subscribe to a category on craigslist, ebay or other time sensitive shopping sites to find great deals first. Subscribe to specific items for sale or categories to find GREAT deals on everything from clothes, to electronics. I personally have used this to buy some IKEA furniture for about 75% off, a 24″ ViewSonic Flat Panel Monitor and several other items. Saving over $1k!!

Heres a link to an RSS Craigslist Search Script to filter your feed results.

Here is a RSS / Yahoo pipes app called Craigslist price watcher.


Finds deals from all major deal sites in US… Fetches deals simultaneously by running parallel threads… Sorts deals based on publication date of the deal (latest first)… Usage: Enter one word (e.g., dell) or an Exact Phrase (e.g., Core Duo) per filter


Webpage-to-RSS Pipe generates RSS from any webpage which doesn’t have native syndication. It utilizes a data mining service called Feedity ( ) to dynamically build the RSS, and then only return unique items. This pipe accepts the URL of the source webpage for which the feed is to be rendered, and it returns a valid RSS for reuse in other pipes. This pipe is designed to be used as a modular sub-pipe in your own pipeline. Clone and reuse!


Track the latest Stumbles on StumbleUpon. Use your RSS reader to track your friends or those you are a fan of on StumbleUpon. Simply find stumblers whom are active and share the same interests and subscribe. This allows you to always stay ahead of the curve in the never ending pursuit of quality content.


Don’t find a mashup, filter or feed you like? Go ahead and create your own. Check out Yahoo pipes and either start one from scratch or build onto an existing one.