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After months of testing, and a very limited rollout to an invite-only list of small businesses, Microsoft’s today announced the details of its adCenter SEM platform. The press release is here.

AdCenter’s selling points include better targeting options than Google’s AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing. In other words, additional layers of context can be baked into an SEM campaign so that advertisers can choose to have their ads only show up within the confines of certain metrics that include geography, user demographic, and time (time of day, day of week, day of month, etc.). This compares with other SEM platforms that only use keyword to form a contextual match, and an ad placement.

There is, of course, much more to this, and a more nuanced comparison is deserved. We’ll begin to do just that, so look out for further coverage and analysis in the next Local Media Journal and in an upcoming Advisory.

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