Bing AdCenter Conversion Code Changes: The Amazing Vanishing Parameters


As many readers know, Exclusive Concepts, Inc. is dedicated to providing value-based marketing services to a range of ecommerce clients. As such, we are forever looking for ways to qualify and quantify our efforts and positively affect our client’s bottom line. We accomplish this by collecting data and making empirical decisions based on our findings. The more relevant data we collect, the better decisions we make. This is true with our Profitable PPC product, as well as all of our other lines of business.

Needless to say, what we found a few weeks ago had us excited.

Last month MSN AdCenter took a giant leap ahead of the other major search engine advertising channels by offering a robust code set. As shown below, it offered a number parameters that can be collected at the time of the conversion to provide insight into what happened during these activities.

microsoft_adcenterconversion_domainid = XXXXXX;
microsoft_adcenterconversion_cp = 5050;
var landingpage=’landing’;
var convid=12345;
var price=0;
var quantity=1;
var sku=0;
var amount=0;
var margin=0;
var discount=0;
var customerid=0;
var currency=0;
var merchantCampaign=0;
var taxAndShippingAmount=0;
var testerCode=0;
var microsoft_adcenterconversionparams = [];
microsoft_adcenterconversionparams[0] = ‘page=’ + landingpage;
microsoft_adcenterconversionparams[1] = ‘convid=’ + convid;
microsoft_adcenterconversionparams[2] = ‘price=’ + price;
microsoft_adcenterconversionparams[3] = ‘quantity=’ + qtys;
microsoft_adcenterconversionparams[4] = ‘sku=’ + codes;
microsoft_adcenterconversionparams[5] = ‘amount=’ + amount;
microsoft_adcenterconversionparams[6] = ‘margin=’ + margin;
microsoft_adcenterconversionparams[7] = ‘discount=’ + discount;
microsoft_adcenterconversionparams[8] = ‘customerid=’ + customerid;
microsoft_adcenterconversionparams[9] = ‘currency=’ + currency;
microsoft_adcenterconversionparams[10] = ‘merchantCampaign=’ + merchantCampaign;
microsoft_adcenterconversionparams[11] = ‘taxAndShippingAmount=’ + taxAndShippingAmount;/strong>
microsoft_adcenterconversionparams[12] = ‘testerCode=’ + testerCode;

<NOSCRIPT><IMG width=1 height=1
href=”” target=”_blank”>::adCenter::</a>

Conversion Parameters Are A Marketers Dream, As The AdCenter Code Above Demonstrates

The new code with numerous parameters available to capture important values, was light years beyond their original code, which only measured whether a conversion took place or not. It was also far ahead of what Google and Yahoo offered for their conversion tracking; Google lets you define whether it’s a secured page or not, and to record a dynamic value for the conversion (or a static value for leads, branding, or other actions being measured at a fixed rate); Yahoo also offers static and dynamic value, as well as a couple of other metrics including order ID and currency (to allow seamless integration with Yahoo Merchant Solutions).

Although the code was collecting the data we needed, there was no way to report the different values it captured in the AdCenter UI or Reports. There was no information reported on any web forums or information sources that we could find, and our foray into AdCenter’s resources was not fruitful. This prompted us to reach out to MSN and see if there was something we were missing. After some time on the phone, including being put on hold while ‘someone in the know’ was consulted, AdCenter Customer Service did not produce any immediate answers. Our customer service rep seemed intrigued and committed to finding a solution, so we left an open ticket as they chased down answers.

Then, less than a week after this robust tracking feature was discovered, it was gone. All that was in its place was an update of the original code, again with no means to catch any information beyond whether a conversion happened or not.

microsoft_adcenterconversion_domainid = XXXXXX;
microsoft_adcenterconversion_cp = 5050;
microsoft_adcenterconversionparams = new Array();
microsoft_adcenterconversionparams[0] = “dedup=1″;


<NOSCRIPT><IMG width=1 height=1 SRC=”“/></NOSCRIPT><a href=”” target=”_blank”>::adCenter::</a>

This is The Current Code Being Offered by AdCenter, Gone Are The Parameters That Set Them Ahead

Gone was the ability to track what transpired at the point of conversion, if it was measuring sales, we could not see what items were bought, how much was spent, and many other valuable pieces of data that qualify the sale. We were left to ponder if we dreamed the whole event. Maybe, as all of us at ECI were staring down the ‘09 buying season we had a collective dream of the perfect piece of code to capture all of the data we need to measure a profitable ecommerce campaign?

Luckily we still had an anchor in reality, we still had an open ticket with AdCenter Customer Service as they explored our options to report this now defunct code.

We got back on the phone with MSN, and after some more research on their end, they came back with an explanation that can simply be described as far-fetched. Their explanation of the code that appeared and then quickly disappeared was: there was too much backlash from the advertising community.

This cry of backlash mush have been silent or solely focused at Microsoft, we could not find a peep of it anywhere online. No one blogged about it, no forum threads discussed it, no one opened up a conversation about it anywhere we looked.

In the end we are left with a piece of code that does not collect values, or any other pertinent information at the point of a conversion. We are left to tag URLs and rely on our client’s analytics to record the sales path, which has worked thus far, yet is not as flexible when rolling out our Profitable PPC Campaigns.

So to recap, MSN created a piece of code to measure AdCenter Conversions that was far and away better than any standard measurement currently being provided by the search engines. It was able to collect mountains of data at the point of the conversion, yet AdCenter had not found a way of making it available to advertisers. Before we could find out how to use the code, it was replaced and would not be supported. This went unannounced, unreported, and we are left with AdCenter’s sub-standard conversion tracking. Instead of being ahead of the curve, they are putting themselves behind it.

Has anyone else seen this code? Has anyone heard any reputable explanations as to what is the state of in-depth conversion tracking in AdCenter?

If so email me at
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