MSN AdCenter: How Doth Thee Suck So? Let me Count the Ways

I’m just amazed at how bad MSN’s AdCenter is – even after having all this time to grow and improve? . Without ado, here are some reasons why MSN AdCenter is a flaming pile of poo:

1. Retro Beta. This might be the first time I’ve ever seen a product launch THEN regress into beta a year afterwards. The “new” version that just came out just got a “beta” sticker attached to it. I thought the natural sequence of events was “beta -> lots of testing -> not beta”. I’m just waiting for the announcement: “Coming in 3Q, 2007: MSN AdCenter Alpha.”

MSN adcenter back to beta

2. Charging $281 per click. This issue of severe overcharging surfaced today (via SEORoundTable) – it seems that a number of accounts are seeing these wild errors. It’s likely just a reporting issue, but scary nonetheless.

adcenter billing problem

3. 30 emails for the price of 1. See Shoemoney’s rant. He also laments the lack of an API and the really bad user interface.

4. Security Warnings. This only seems to happen in Firefox for me so maybe there’s a Firefox conspiracy at play here – feel free to investigate this yourself. This is annoying enough when it happens as you’re trying to login to AdCenter. But here’s the kicker. This pops up on a client’s website if you have conversion tracking installed. So if you fill out a contact form on a website that has adcenter tracking, you get this giant error after submitting. To less-savvy visitors this makes your site look really bad and suspicious. I can just hear them, “what the hell? is this a phishing site or something? what’s this about ‘site not trusted’?”

(click for the large version of this security warning)
do not trust this website

5. All kids of fun errors. To be fair, this only happens while you’re doing stuff – like runing a report or navigating the AdCenter site. Below are a few examples: “your report is failed” and “incorrect or unexpected message”:

report failed error

adcenter incorrect message

I guess we Windows users should be used to this from Microsoft. But c’mon, it’s 2000 friggin 7 and you need this to work, Microsoft! Else Google is going to beat the ever living bejeezus out of you on all fronts, even ones you are completely used to dominating.

P.S. This post doesn’t even get into other MSN AdCenter problems that I’ve ranted about previously.