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Microsoft has released a new tool for use by advertisers on its search engine – adCenter Add-in for Excel 2007. Microsoft describes it as:

“…a keyword research and optimization tool that can help you understand keyword popularity and trends, and gain valuable insight on the demographic and geographic information of actual searches.”

Now, we are all the time doing keyword research in various tools, exporting the data, and opening up it up in Excel to do whatever type of sorting and filtering we need to get down to a list of keywords we can use for our purposes. So we were very interested in a tool that would allow us to do keyword research directly from Excel, even if all the data comes Microsoft’s own search network.

To download the tool, go here:


It is easy to install and it even worked the first time we tried it. One disadvantage is that you have to have Excel 2007, which a lot of people probably don’t have yet. Obviously Microsoft would like everyone in the world to upgrade to their latest version of Office, which may be one reason it only works in the 2007 version. But it did not seem to cause any problems with Excel’s functionality, so if you have Excel 2007 and have need to do keyword research, you should definitely try it out.

After installing it, it places a new tab on Excel’s main menu labeled “Ad Intelligence”. Clicking the Ad Intelligence tab reveals a whole new sub-menu of really big, colorful buttons:

Keyword Wizard – generates a keyword list from seed keywords.
Keyword Extraction – generates a keyword list based on the copy in a particular web site.
Keyword Suggestion – suggests keywords based on three possible criteria: advertiser bidding behavior, keywords which contain the original keywords, and by keyword category similarity.
Search Buzz – suggests keywords based on top spikiness or frequency.
Monthly Traffic – provides historical and forecast traffic for selected keywords.
Keyword Categorization – identifies categories for selected keywords.
Geographic – provides location information for keywords.
Demographic – provides demographic information for keywords.
Monetization – provides keyword monetization data, such as CPC, CTR, impressions, etc.
Advanced Algorithm – lets you customize the parameters used to create keyword lists.
Options – lets you set system options for the keyword tool.

To try it out, we typed in three seed keywords in successive cells, clicked the Keyword Wizard button, selected the cells, selected the algorithms to use (campaign association, keywords that contain the seed keywords, or keywords that are similar – we selected all three options to bring back the most keywords), set the maximum results to return and the minimum confidence, and then let it run. It returned a list of keywords directly in our Excel workbook that contained lots of traffic-related data for each one.

The whole problem with Microsoft’s search platform is that it just doesn’t have enough keyword inventory. We recently gave up on Microsoft for a search campaign we were running because we were actually doing much better generating traffic in second tier search engines like Miva (and of course, Google and Yahoo!). But purely for purposes of generating keyword data to be tried in various search engines, Microsoft’s adCenter Add-in for Excel is a very cool tool.

If you need help running paid search ads in Microsoft or any other search platform, please call Work Media at 888-299-4837 or email Info@WorkMedia.net.