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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Search Engine Advertising Platform Wars

Yahoo's out with a new sponsored search marketing platform. Google continues to make incremental changes and tool innovations to its existing platform. Microsoft dropped Overture (which became Yahoo! Search Marketing) a few months ago and now offers its own advertising platform, AdCenter. Who's going to win? Search engine advertisers, I hope. Who's going to lose? I think Microsoft. Look at the latest search engine market share results (pdf from Nielsen//NetRatings):
  1. Google Search 50.0%
  2. Yahoo! Search 23.4%
  3. MSN/Windows Live Search 9.2%
I suspect most advertisers will devote their PPC ad budgets to Google and Yahoo. Advertisers need to display their ads where the market is. Who has time to manage three complicated online advertising platforms? Plus, it's possible to rank well on MSN with standard SEO techniques. Lately, I've been spending the bulk of my time managing and tracking AdWords accounts, a little time overseeing Overture (still can't get used to calling it Yahoo! Search Marketing) accounts and then a dash of SEO here and there. I wonder how other search engine marketers and individual advertisers divide their time these days...

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Blogger Philip said...

Why can't Microsoft, Yahoo, Ask and the others just license a version of Google Adwords. That would make life much more convenient. It would allow Google to dominate just like MS Windows dominates the computer desktop!

Mon Oct 23, 09:33:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Hi Philip. That would make life much easier for search marketers in the short term, but in the long term we need competition. Clearly, though, there's a limit to how many ad platforms you can learn and manage effectively. I do think Microsoft would have made more money had they continued to use the Yahoo/Overture PPC listings. Likewise, Ask has such a small market share that I doubt many people buy listings specifically for their platform. They should continue to syndicate Google ads - or switch to the Yahoo/Overture ad system. A combined Yahoo/MSN/Ask advertising platform would be a viable alternative to Google AdWords. Separate platforms for Yahoo/MSN/Ask fragments the market too much.

Mon Oct 23, 10:36:00 AM EDT  

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