Ugh – you want to know why you are so behind AdWords, team MSN? Let’s start with your absolutely horrid usability. I got an email stating that some keywords and/or ad text was disapproved. I clicked on the message setting in the UI and got this completely useless information (account ID blacked out):

Notice that the message doesn’t tell you which keywords (and/or ad text) was disapproved – you are left to your own devices to hunt through the UI and find the disapprovals. But wait – it gets better – there’ s no report that will show you disapproved data, which means that you have to go through each campaign – one by one – to find the disapprovals. So if you have a couple of hundred campaigns, get ready for a full day of “find the disapproval.”

Rule #1 when it comes to all things paid search: JUST COPY ADWORDS AND YOU WILL BE OK!

Rule #2: Don’t have engineers design your UI.

God help the new MSN/YSM – they need it.


  1. Steve February 5th, 2010

    I won't disagree that the adCenter UI is SOOOO horrible. I just wanted to point out that the things you're talking about (and likely the things you hate but haven't talked about yet) can be dealt with fairly quickly using the adCenter desktop application. Its a free download, and VERY useful to making changes to your adCenter campaigns.

  2. David Rodnitzky February 5th, 2010

    OK Steve, I am going to re-download the desktop app again and give it a whirl.Typical Microsoft "usability" though if the desktop app does work – the system works as long as you adapt your processes to the way Microsoft designs things!

  3. Terry Whalen February 6th, 2010

    The desktop app – that is too funny! It rarely works. Steve, I will bet you $1 that it will not work for David. David's account will be too big, or his operating system will be 'wrong' or whatever. I've gotten the desktop app to work for a few minutes here and there, with a small amount of data, and the app is itself horrible, and barely saves any time anyway.

  4. David Rodnitzky February 7th, 2010

    Good point Terry. I do recall that the MSN desktop app only allows you to manage one account at a time anyway. I think I had to go through all sorts of hoops just to switch from one client to another!

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David Rodnitzky
David Rodnitzky is founder and CEO of 3Q Digital (formerly PPC Associates), a position he has held since the Company's inception in 2008. Prior to 3Q Digital, he held senior marketing roles at several Internet companies, including (2000-2001), FindLaw (2001-2004), Adteractive (2004-2006), and Mercantila (2007-2008). David currently serves on advisory boards for several companies, including Marin Software, MediaBoost, Mediacause, and a stealth travel start-up. David is a regular speaker at major digital marketing conferences and has contributed to numerous influential publications, including Venture Capital Journal, CNN Radio, Newsweek, Advertising Age, and NPR's Marketplace. David has a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and a J.D. with honors from the University of Iowa. In his spare time, David enjoys salmon fishing, hiking, spending time with his family, and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, not necessarily in that order.