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.

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.

Y! Annual Meeting: Venting but No Real Big Changes

1 August, 2008

Following on from AdViking’s attempt to liveblog the meeting earlier, some quick round up points.

About Microsoft:

The board went over the top in trying to defend themselves and I believe that this comment from one small investor really is all that has to be said:

“You’ve got a situation where it sounds like the girlfriend in a breakup now trying to convince the world she was the initiator, not the victim,” he said. Microsoft looks like the “strong, silent type,” and Yahoo looks “weak.”


The Board

There was some fireworks from the audience but the vote went ahead smoothly and other than the Ichann change and the ex-AOL honcho Jon Miller on/off switch, everyone still has their seats.

Y! Update

In a microblog nutshell:

We had a great strategy.  MS bid made us focus on something else  Still, we have traffic, the Internet is great it’s just our tech isn’t so hot & we have loads of talent (ignoring the fact of the recent exodus).

Here’s link to the deck they gave.  Not that interesting in itself but some good points to pull out for industry trends.

All in all, AdViking now regrets earlier excitement and agree with his wife about being a geek…

Livebloggen: Yahoo! Annual General Meeting 2008

1 August, 2008


Well, AdViking doesn’t have the budget to attend the Yahoo! Annual General Meeting but that doesn’t stop us from trying to follow the action from the comfort of living rooms with beers in hands…

Actually that sounds better than attending.


Early build up coverage doesn’t have must to say, but Kara Swisher has confirmed the pastries are looking good…

Here’s some promising links to follow the coverage so far:


The Mercury News link above is providing live transcript.

There’s 5 Shareholder Proposals.

Most interesting is that exec pay is out of whack.

Funniest, but totally not is about Yahoo! issues with human rights.  One guy re-quotes something about Y! mgmt being “moral pygmies” – Response being that quote is an insult to pygamies and the because of the issues in China, that Jerry Yang should enjoy his visit to the Olympics.


Some peanut gallery comments about the Plumbers Union who wanted the pay review.

Y! opposes Human Rights, Pay Review and Censorship Review Shareholder Proposals.


As Ballmer would say, blah blah blah…whatever guys.  You had this amazing strategy and Microsoft got in your head and you did a deal with Google that will kill your business.

Updated link:  CNET


Yang giving the update…we’re in transition, etc.  we got a lot of assets, can make money, etc…trust us…but dude what about Google…dude what about all the real smart people who just walked out the door


Enough of the updates, let’s get to the questions…or should I say fireworks


The Q&A is great…living up to the hype…


On reflection, it didn’t really….some great quotes and some interesting Shareholder Proposals but nothing really that persuasive from the Y! board as to why they should keep their jobs.

AdViking will have a ponder and come back with a summary.

Handbags @ Dawn: Yahoo! Annual Meeting

1 August, 2008

In what’s probably a sad indication of the excitement factor in AdViking’s life at the moment but I’ve woken up this morning with a thrill that today’s finally the day of the 2008 Yahoo! Annual Meeting.

We can expect fireworks, what with threats from the big shareholders, questions about turning down Microsoft and what’s that the Google/Yahoo! ad deal now has politicians demanding the deal gets a good look at.

All ready, we’ve got the somewhat deflating news that Carl Ichann will not be attending, maybe he’s be sending Ballmer instead!

The meeting will start at 10am Pacific and webcast here.