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.

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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!