Microsoft today announced the relaunch of pubCenter, SERoundTable reported. It is a platform for small and mid-sized publishers to monetize their websites by displaying ads from the Microsoft Advertising Network. Microsoft did have its AdSense alternative; it was initially launched in 2006 as Content Ads.
However, Microsoft is positioning it as a relaunch or reboot in the form of a U.S.-only “pilot program.” It is an alternative to Google AdSense, and Microsoft is offering it to publishers in the U.S., with plans to potentially expand internationally in the future.
The way it works is similar to AdSense: publishers can choose an ad format, add the provided code to their website, and earn revenue each time an ad is served on their site. Microsoft claims that it offers higher engagement and potentially more revenue than Google AdSense.
One interesting feature Microsoft is promoting is flexible mediation, which allows publishers to use both Microsoft ads and Google AdSense on the same page. Microsoft will serve its ads when it predicts a higher bid, potentially maximizing revenue for publishers.
As of now, pubCenter is available to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and publishers in the United States. Those outside of the U.S. can join a waitlist in the hope that Microsoft will add international support in the future.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft also has Microsoft Start, a Google News alternative, with partnerships that allow publishers to earn revenue when their content is read on the Start app. These are separate initiatives from pubCenter.