Microsoft’s adCenter blog recently published a blog post about MSN’s keyword normalization & how this can cause duplicate keywords in your adCenter account. The way they put it, you can’t upload keywords they normalize as the same keywords into an adCenter account. However, I recently took over an adCenter account, and I’ve found this to most definitely not be the case.

This woman was so frustrated with her duplicate keywords, she decided to eat her laptop.

I had over 3,000 duplicate keywords in my account. Yes. You read that correctly. I was going to upload my first bid change, and I found I had 1,794 duplicate keyword errors of the keywords I was changing bids on. After trying to troubleshoot the issue myself, I was stumped, and emailed my helpful adCenter rep for any help I could get. He ran a report and told me that I have over 3,000 duplicate keywords in my account due to this keyword normalization. I, flabbergasted, asked: “Well, how on earth do I change their bids?” and he responded with, “Well, you’d have to do them manually, one by one, in the interface.” I almost threw the phone. Instead, I decided to stay Above The Line and ask what a better solution could be. He told me to pick the best performing normalized keyword and delete the rest. So, that’s what me (and a couple of helpful co-workers) did. We scoured over 6,000 keywords and hand-picked out the best performers of the duplicates.

There’s no way to tell, when you download keyword performance reports, which keywords have been deleted. If you download the report for any time period the deleted keyword even got an impression, you’ll end up uploading the duplicate back into the account (yes, I did). So, you’ve got to download your data for only the time that’s passed since you deleted your keywords and make changes based on average position or otherwise take the time to filter out all the deleted keywords manually.

So, seeing as how this account was originally imported from AdWords, let this be a cautionary tale. Be very careful when importing from your AdWords account into adCenter. You may just be importing over 3,000 duplicate keywords that will take way more time and frustration to deal with later than it will to do it to start with.

Have any of you had similar frustrations with adCenter’s duplicate normalized keywords?