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Microsoft Tightens Relevancy and Quality Policy for Ads Targeting the U.S. and Canada

Microsoft announced that begining August 31st, the adCenter Relevancy and Quality policy for ads targeting the U.S. and Canada will be updated, to provide greater clarity and more specific definitions of practices. This update may result in ads that aren’t aligned with the new policy becoming less prominent or, in some cases, being excluded, announced Simone Schuurer.

In a adCenter blog post, Schuurer wrties that the company has expanded how it defined relevancy, noting that “users should find your landing page a “satisfactory destination” based on the keyword they used. Specifically, keywords should relate to the range of products, services or content on the landing page. Alternatively, keywords should directly relate to the “general content, purpose and theme of your site.””

In the Landing Page and Site Quality section, Schuurer said that content should not:

  • “Function primarily to support the display of advertising or attract traffic.
  • Have as its sole purpose to redirect to other businesses, without adding significant value as an intermediary.
  • Require the entry of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) unnecessary for the purposes of providing services or completing a purchase.
  • Delay or obstruct the user’s access to requested content, products or services by adding steps solely designed to monetize the user.
  • Employ marketing tactics that might be considered evasive, overly sensational or potentially confusing.”

She said that in the Landing Page and Site User Experience section, the following has been added: Sites that “Bait and switch” the user, for example, redirect site visitors unexpectedly to unrelated domains.

And, in the Marketplace Exclusion section following may be excluded:

  • “Sites that misrepresent the origin or intent of their content and as a result are likely to deceive a portion of the target audience.
  • Phishing sites that try to trick visitors into sharing PII not normally shared with a third party, or where the use of such information could cause the user to be defrauded,” she said.

The full content of the policy is available here.

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