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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Yahoo! Search Marketing Keeps Falling Behind

I haven't written about Yahoo! Search Marketing for awhile. Frankly, I don't use it that much anymore. On the other hand, I log into various Google AdWords accounts multiple times a day. Yahoo just can't seem to keep pace with Google. Reading yesterday about the proposed break-up of Yahoo from sources like Tech Check with Jim Goldman (techcheck.cnbc.com) reminded me of what's wrong with Yahoo. It's a tortoise and Google's the hare. Unlike the fable, however, Google's not resting. Yahoo Search Marketing is still lacking some features AdWords has had for awhile. For instance, it's possible via AdWords to restrict ad distribution to Google only:

google only ad distribution

Yahoo has no such option. This is an essential feature. Reading a recent post, Yahoo.com and Beyond (from www.ysmblog.com), it doesn't appear they plan to implement a Yahoo only ad distribution option:
Yahoo! Search Marketing is, to a large extent, an ad distribution network. That means that when you become a Yahoo! Search Marketing advertiser, your ads can appear on Yahoo.com—the world’s most visited website—and they may also appear on other sites in our ad network, like MTV.com, iVillage.com and eBay.com, as well as on other popular content and information sites...

Being part of an ad distribution network, and not just advertising on a single site, can help you reach a wider audience, create better brand awareness, get more customers and increase your sales.
Ironically, the next post on that blog is about a new feature to block domains on the Yahoo ad distribution network:
As a part of our ongoing effort to improve the quality of the network and your traffic, we have undertaken several initiatives. The newest of these is a feature called “Blocked Domains,” which allows you to specify certain sites in our partner distribution network on which you do not want your ads to appear.

The new Blocked Domains feature, which launches later this month, is just the latest among several initiatives we are undertaking in order to in order to provide increased value.
Why announce a feature that's not ready? Why not give the advertisers what they want - a block all domains feature? For comparison, Google's had site exclusion for a long time. To be fair, they need to make that work for their search network, though. IOW, the Yahoo Search Marketing blocked domains feature might be an improvement over the Google AdWords site exclusion tool. Will have to see when the new feature launches.

Wow, reading some of the comments on the Y!SM blog about the impending blocked domains feature, you'd think Yahoo would realize they're alienating too many advertisers by not maintaining feature parity with Google. They clearly need a Yahoo.com and NOT Beyond ad distribution option. Sample comments:
  • The blocked sites feature needs to be implemented ASAP. My site stats shows 85 to 90% of the worthless visitors are coming from search sites that are part of the Yahoo search network. Many of the sites that are part of the Yahoo search network are sending visitors with a 100% bounce rate. If I can’t block those search sites I’ll have to consider closing my account.
  • Yahoo should have implement the block domain feature years ago as I, as an advertiser have complaint to them endless times and get no respond. Glad they are finally taking the bid step to improve click quality. I hate to see my Yahoo ads appear on a third party website who shows on Google sponsored links at lower cost and post my Yahoo ads at higher costs.
  • The blocker should have been in place before the network was allowed to rip us offf. SHAME ON YAHOO!
  • I think it’s actually pretty ridiculous that we have to choose what partner sites to turn off. I want them ALL TURNED OFF! Please consider providing such an option, I’m sure many would use it. I know Yahoo is all about earning money, but I think this just makes you guys look greedy. That’s no good in my book. It has led me to close many of my clients’ accounts in the past.
  • After I write this comment, I am turning off all my Yahoo ads.
Ouch! Yahoo's definitely either out-of-touch or simply too slow. Which is it?

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just checked my YAhoo account, after I received the notification that their "blocking feature" has been launched.

I can block up to 250 domains, but they don't list those domains! How do I know which domains are their partners?

Mon Oct 15, 11:25:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Yeah, you have to track which domains are sending you clicks. You can do this by tracking Yahoo Search Marketing traffic on your own server. Make sure you have enabled tracking URLs so you know which clicks come from Yahoo paid ads.

Tue Oct 16, 10:25:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks Richard,

I was actually working on figuring out how to create web logs, on the server.

I just have a domain hosting, not a dedicated server, and from the material I found on searches, I got the impression that I needed a server account, not just basic hosting.

That's why I installed some 3rd party javascript stats code, which does a pretty good job so far.

I'll place the same code on my conversion pages, so I can see what traffic results in conversions.

regards,

Max

Tue Oct 16, 07:08:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just one more thing..

I noticed a high-bounce rate on many visits (both through this tracking service as well as with google-analytics) on many of my sites (zero seconds visit time).

My sites are hosted by reliable service, and I neevr have any access accessing them.

Could javascript code (google analytics for exapmle) cause the page loading to slow down on some machines, and visitors loose patience and click away?

How can I imporve the bounce rate, assuming I am geting legitimate clicks, from genuine searches?

thanks,

Max

Tue Oct 16, 08:01:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.mobilephone7.com

Fri Oct 30, 04:23:00 AM EDT  

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