Years ago MSN stopped displaying Google AdWords ads in favor of their own PPC advertising platform, MSN Adcenter. So why, after all this time have they begun to display AdWords ads again?

On Tuesday Jon Henshaw blogged an interesting find: A search for the phrase “colorations paint” brought up the standard MSN Adcenter ads at the top, a typical #1 & #2 listing for DiscountSchoolSupply, and a rather interesting third and fourth result. Sitting at #3 for this phrase appears to be Google. The URL indexed a link generated for DiscountSchoolSupply’s Google AdWords account!

Adwords URLs are occasionally being indexed by Windows Live and shown in SERPs.

Henshaw notes his assumption that this is most likely an unintentional bug, which I would have to agree with, but it could be a positive thing for those advertising with AdWords by purchasing the sponsored link, and finding your ad appearing in the natural SERPs, with the title Many searchers may find your listing attractive and if your destination page is highly relevant to the search term this could generate some qualified attention and sales. Now that said, this is certainly not a common item, and I am sure it will be resolved quickly.

I don’t recommend clicking on the paid ad as I am sure the people at DiscountSchoolSupply do not want the extra charges to their Google account – but at least they have the top 4 results in MSN for the time being.

Thanks for planetc1, for posting this article on Sphinn for me to find.