Why Yahoo! Has “Search Marketing Madness”?

23 January, 2009

Is there a Comedian in the house?I know I’m not the only one, as I have seen many posts like this: Yahoo! can now change…

“Are Yahoo! now so hard up that they have to add keywords to the accounts of their advertisers.”

Or this: Yahoo! gives itself permission…

“This is kind of like a fast food restaurant going into your burger after you’ve take a bite…”


Too true… and I had a chunk bitten out last month on a campaign I run for a popular site. I was just updating my campaigns and I saw that several files had been uploaded and ‘approved’. Yet I only update via the web-based service as their download/upload process is worse than clicking through the pages (hefty note to Yahoo! – you want me to put more than one ad up? then YOU make it easy for me to do so!!). So, how did these files get there?

You see, the truth of PPC is that they WANT you to focus on CPC and CTRs rate because that’s how they earn their juice. So Yahoo’s actions are all about increasing clicks by ‘improving’ ad copy and keyword range.Silly Save Message

I expect they had a meeting in Yahoo! towers and decided that all their clients were cretins and were deliberately ignoring that pop up that they’ve had for over a year now which deliberately hides the ‘save’ button with this message (look right).

No, I have seen it many, many times but I am not going to put another ad up because I use Google to optimise my ad copy because they have all the traffic to test effectively and their system is so much more user friendly than Yahoo’s. Simple, really.

Generously, Yahoo! gave me a refund. I explained to them on the phone that whilst they can provide me with the service, I did not request or authorise these changes and should they continue to do so I just wouldn’t bother with their system.

But it still confuses me… why does Yahoo! go about their business in such a cack-handed way? Fair enough Google and MSN also offer assistance in optimisation – but it’s on request and always as a test.

Well, the truth of the matter is that I don’t know the answer to this, but I will vote with my feet and if I see them messing around again, I will shut it down. Any advertiser knows that they need to sign off the creative and campaign. Yahoo! please step down and visit the real world. Please.


The brothers grim?

19 June, 2008

Precision Marketing

Charlie McKelvey’s biblical post today on Precision Marketing explores the Cain-and-Abel-like relationship (in his terms) between Technology and Marketing. His assessment of the mismatch between expectations and world views of these two disciplines is pretty stark and his solution is to make them sit together and play nice. I’ve seen places where that happens, but they are essentially going to be disruptive siblings at all times.

But sibling rivalry doesn’t always have to end with blood on the floor.

Marketing (like any good magic) has always been an arcane mix of art and science… the trouble is much of the science has been manual – manipulation rather than automation. Marketers need technology in C21 more than ever before to take the drudge out of their lives and allow them to focus on what they should do best: insight, inspiration and the creation of desire.

AdViking is curious: has Charlie noticed there’s been quite a little industry spring up to do just that, most of it based around the SaaS idea which allows Markerters to pretend they are buying services, not technology. Microsoft and Google seem to be quite keen on this business model, as well as a host of other companies in the Web Analytics, Email Marketing, Customer Reviews, AdServing/monitoring spaces.

In most organisations, getting IT to sit with Marketing is not going to deliver that solution. There are lots of things internal IT departments are really good for: responding to the fast moving, ever changing moods (or needs) of Marketers is probably never going to be the best thing they do – or the thing they most want to do. So don’t try to force them!