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…”

ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY

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.

A ONE-WAY ROAD TO TERMINATION
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.


Yahoo! Lurches Along

18 November, 2008

Not sure if lurches is the correct thing but as broken on Twitter by Kara Swisher, Jerry Yang has agreed with the Yahoo! Board to step down as CEO once a replacement has been found.

  • paidContent has a list of potential replacements
  • John Battelle’s interview with Jerry Yang at the November Web2.0 Summit

Google Waves Yahoo “Google-bye…”

6 November, 2008
Exit Stage Right?

Exit Stage Right?

So, the mega ‘deal’ that Yahoo! struck with Google to get Microsoft off its back has backfired, or if not backfired, at least ‘back-burnered’. Adviking is not one to miss a chance to get on a soapbox, however before we crack open the bubbly  and mull over anti-trust issues of market dominance… we can’t help but feel, regardless of press releases and articles to the contrary, that it leaves Yahoo! on the sidelines and Google smirking at the flimsiness of the competition.

Will Microsoft return to the table? They envy the Yahoo! search traffic for sure, but as Social Media starts to gain more leverage and prominence, will Yahoo! properties lose their lustre somewhat? Their mail app is generally considered to be class-leading (much to Google’s chagrin), but what else have they got?

We can’t help but feel that this will be the case… Google got the Yahoogle out of there and has abandoned ‘Junior’ and, for all the credibility Jerry Yang has left, it can only be a matter of time before there are more movements in this space.

As always, we’ll be watching. In a few years will Yahoo! be Ya-who?


Yahoo! Launches Transformative Digital Ad Platform

25 September, 2008

No time to comment on this yet… Some stuff here on AdWeek and here. Agree with JB don’t buy it as a revolution.

Full PR here:

Yahoo! Launches Transformative Digital Ad Platform

San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News First Customers to Go Live

NEW YORK, Sep 24, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Emmy(R) Award nominee and Golden Globe(R) Award winner Jon Hamm of AMC’s original drama series Mad Men(R), today joined Yahoo!’s Chief Executive Officer Jerry Yang, President Sue Decker and Executive Vice President of Yahoo! U.S. Hilary Schneider for the 5th annual Advertising Week conference in New York to announce the launch of APT from Yahoo!. Formerly known as AMP!, APT from Yahoo! is an intelligent innovation in online media, a digital advertising solution that streamlines the process of planning, buying and optimizing display advertising. APT is designed to simplify the process of buying and selling ads online while connecting all the market players — publishers, advertisers, agencies, networks, partners and developers — from a unified platform to do business more efficiently and effectively. The platform is rolling out as planned in phases beginning with publishers the San Francisco Chronicle of Hearst Newspapers and San Jose Mercury News of MediaNews Group.

“The advertising landscape has changed dramatically since the days when Don Draper was roaming the halls of Sterling Cooper,” said Jerry Yang. “While Mad Men celebrates the Madison Avenue of 40 years ago, APT from Yahoo! clearly represents the future.”

As a Web-based solution with the potential to allow unprecedented ease of cross-selling across the largest open network of publishers, advertisers, ad networks and agencies from a single integrated interface, APT is a single platform for connected digital advertising, including ad serving, ad network and ad exchange. It is designed to streamline advertisers’ ad-buying process for multiple accounts across multiple publishers, and enable creative testing and campaign optimization. It is also intended to help advertisers precisely yet easily identify audiences through geographic, demographic and interest-based targeting while enabling publishers to better monetize their content as well as making better connections across the Web.

“One of the major benefits of APT from Yahoo! is the fact that it’s an open system, designed to enable advertisers to reach their audiences in their favorite places across the Web, and publishers to monetize inventory across the broadest possible demand channels,” said Sue Decker. “As we transform the advertising marketplace, we’re excited to have key members of the Newspaper Consortium, the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News, lead the way in this historic journey.”

For publishers like the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News, APT is designed to improve monetization capabilities and increase advertising revenue with solutions targeted at accelerating the ability to take advantage of premium brand and performance-based advertising. Key benefits include:

— Fostering a more transparent marketplace through the ability to connect to new business partners for cross-selling;

— Providing ad selection and inventory management tools to match relevant ads to marketers’ target audience; and

— Allowing publishers to manage their own private networks.

“The Newspaper Consortium’s open, collaborative and exciting partnership with Yahoo! is enabling a crucial transformation in the newspaper industry,” said George Irish, President, Hearst Newspapers. “With this next-generation platform we can realize the powerful combination of Yahoo!’s technology innovations, national reach and partner network with the Consortium’s rich local content, sales forces and local market expertise.”

“When Yahoo! showed us the platform’s potential in February this year, the Newspaper Consortium was impressed by Yahoo!’s commitment and investment in a game-changing technology that would significantly advance our efforts to monetize the Web,” said William Dean Singleton, Vice Chairman and CEO, MediaNews Group. “Seven months later, I am very proud to announce that Yahoo! has executed, and we are jointly accelerating toward fully using the platform to aggregate inventory, target relevant audiences and drive revenue growth.”

Some of the initial capabilities featured in the new platform include:

— Guaranteed cross-selling with pre-defined selling rules

— Ad Exchange for non-guaranteed inventory

— Advanced audience targeting techniques based upon behavior and geography

— Inventory lookup and forecasting across individual and partner sites

— Creative workflow automation and personalization

— Powerful rate card tools for improved yield management

— Filters for better controls around creatives

— Flexible and powerful APIs

— Federated ad call to support multiple ad formats

Yahoo! has developed a systematic integration plan for adding other Newspaper Consortium partners onto APT throughout this year and into next year. APT is a significant component of the unique and deep collaboration between Yahoo! and America’s newspapers. Launched in 2006 with 176 newspapers across the United States, the strategic partnership to create one of the largest and most comprehensive advertising networks in the online industry now comprises 35 media companies spanning 784 newspapers.

Yahoo! will start to make the platform available to other parties including advertisers, publishers, networks and agencies in 2009.

Additional information on APT is available at http://apt.yahoo.com. For press materials including executive bios, APT screen shots and images visit http://apt.yahoo.com/newsworthy.

About Yahoo!

Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) is a leading global Internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide. Yahoo! is focused on powering its communities of users, advertisers, publishers, and developers by creating indispensable experiences built on trust. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit pressroom.yahoo.com.

The Yahoo! logo is a registered trademark of Yahoo! Inc. All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE: Yahoo! Inc.


Minimum Bids… Going, Going… GONE

23 September, 2008

Google Has Ended (for the time being) Minimum Bids

Google Turns Around

Google Turns Around

In a move which has escaped much comment (at least on the blogsphere I frequent) Google has dropped Minimum bids. Previously, particularly on popular or competitive keywords, minimum bids meant that you couldn’t just bid a few pence and get an ad published – you had to bid what Google deemed to be an amount worthy of appearing on the esteemed search engine… but not any more.

The Logic For Minimum Bids

The logic seems to be simple – if you have businesses bidding £1+ on keywords, then why allow the user to click on a link for only 5p? Money lost I think… so, if the top bid is £1+, force all the others to bid say 30p to join the queue. More money to Google.

The Fallacy Behind Minimum Bids

Ah, but the rub is this… advertiser resistance and natural listings.

Firstly, with all the tools at their disposal, the bigger spenders know what they are prepared to pay for a visit. They were priced out and rather than doing as Google expected (upping their bids), they resisted such changes turned to other routes to market. Leaving popular search terms rather empty and without choice.

Secondly, because listings became more empty, the natural listings on the pages took greater clickshare.  And as these don’t provide income for Google, the revenues from advertising actually fell on a per page basis.

Surely Not a BackTrack?

Google has bravely taken the bold step of retreating, realising that people prefer choice, both in adverts as well as searches. I expect Yahoo to follow suit once they’ve sorted out catching up with Google on their most recent list of ‘mee toos’. MS Ad Center… er… I don’t think minimum bids is something they have the luxury of indulging in for the next few years.

So long Google minimum bids, I am not sure whether I’m going to miss you or not… must check my Analytics!


Privacy Moves by Google & Yahoo!

11 August, 2008

The recent moves by Google and Yahoo! to allow one-click opt out to cookie tracking are significant to the online ad industry. There is a much longer and more thought out post on this topic but to keep it short and sweet (just like a homemade cookie) the gist is that this is a sumply a proactive move in light of recent US gov scrutiny. Google’s policy and opt-out is HERE… Also here is the official Yahoo release and Google’s blog post on the subject

Opt-out is much better for the advertiser than an opt-in in the online ad space. Not to worry, Google and other ad technology providers are benefitting massively from cookie tracking that 3rd party networks run even if users opt-out directly from the big players. I am starting to think that the new battle ground for online advertising is over 3rd party traffic – making this a proxy war… Hmmm time for a snack to ponder that one further.


Yahoo! Expands RightMedia Offering

5 August, 2008

This is a smart and timely new offering from Yahoo! – introducing contextual display targeting on the RightMedia exchange.