Initial Thoughts on Ad Intelligence

Got an email last night that Microsoft had released the beta version of its Ad Intelligence adCenter Add-in for Excel 2007 keyword research tool, what a name (good old Microsoft). I saw this tool at the MS booth at pubcon, and it looked pretty sweet, luckily we’d also just upgraded to Excel 2007 at the office so I downloaded the plugin and installed it. After playing with it for a little bit and comparing it too Wordtracker, KeywordDiscovery and actual AdWords PPC data I’ve got a few issues I don’t like:

  1. Sometimes when the plugin queries the KSP server it takes a while for it to come back with data.
  2. The default geopraphic data setting is to display country-level information, state and city level data is more useful to me (You can change the default to state or city in the Advanced Algo dialog).
  3. The geographic data report seems to duplicate keywords for some reason.
  4. After you select the methods you’d like to expand your keyword list with, you have to specify max keywords for each technique and minimum confidence levels, which is very cool, but the windows are confusing and its not obvious that you have to set different levels for each of the 3.
  5. Included in the monetization data is “Average Position” I have no idea what this means or where this data is coming from, I didn’t put in a site or bid amount.
  6. The actual keyword traffic data seems to be full of skew (has lots of domain names with a bunch of searches on them supposedly), possibly from rank checking etc. Wordtracker’s data looks cleaner.

The one thing in the new tool that I love though is the Geographic and Demographic data. Pull a list of keywords out of Wordtracker into Ad Intelligence and run these two reports to get a pretty good idea of who the searchers are and what they’re respond to on your site. I haven’t seen any data out there like this for free before, and what I have seen is pretty expensive. I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts as I use the tool over the next few days and weeks.