Adviking notes that Google have turned the screw in terms of search-driven PPC. Not only do they have greater search share, but they also earn more per page view. Is this merely down to increased competition within the keywords? We don’t think so.
Think about this: Google offers time targeting, geo targeting, offline editing, publishing of phone numbers on ads, hands-off editorial process, wider range of payment options, tight control over keyword and a much more intuitive UI. Do they do this for the advertiser? Yes and no. Talk to any advertiser and they will tell you that targeting is crucial, they know their target cost per acquisition and Google comes out very favourably. All of the list mentioned either makes targeting easier (= more valuable, = higher spend), or the process of publishing quicker. Google ENABLE.
What about Yahoo! ? They launched their new Search Marketing product with much fanfare, but it pales when matched up to the above list. It sort of has geo-targeting… but that’s about it. Worse, it seems to hamper advertisers: the editorial process can be a real pain, ‘advanced match’ is rather arbitrary and they make odd decisions… For example you could have an offline editor, but access is restricted. Medium and low value campaigns are capped to just 20 ad groups (so clients who would spend more don’t). They could offer time-targeting, but don’t.
AdViking wonders whether the hook-up on ads between Google and Yahoo! is also because Google is so much better at extracting value because it understands advertisers, rather than DISABLING them, like Yahoo! does. Maybe they should take some notes…
Credit must go to MSN, they have tried to catch up with Google. AdCenter started off clunky, but has add good functionality and targeting, including profiling. It’s not quite there, but improving rapidly. However MSN has one giant challenge: low reach! By the time a business has set up Google for a trial, and then moved on to Yahoo!, they omit MSN – some still think that Yahoo! run MSN ads (they used to a couple of years ago). Not only that, but because of the low reach, geo targeting or profiling becomes pointless because it reduces even popular terms to the odd click through a day. So, the challenge for MSN is to ENGAGE – both the public who still don’t use their search much, as well as the advertiser who sees it as ancilliary to business.