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Friday, February 27, 2009

Google AdWords vs Yahoo! Search Marketing

At the new AdWords Help forum, there's an interesting discussion about Google AdWords vs Yahoo! Search Marketing. Here's the original question:
Any ideas why my google traffic ( search only ) is not converting into sales as well as Yahoo? I run the same campaigns on both. Yahoo converts much better? I thought google would be higher in conversions?
This was my response:
A variety of factors could be at play here. Some possibilities:

1) Google's expanded broad matching is showing your ads for less relevant keywords
2) There is less advertiser competition on Yahoo
3) Your product/service is more suitable for the Yahoo demographic

Keep in mind that, to some degree, you are comparing apples and oranges. The keyword matching algorithms are different for Google and Yahoo. Your ad distribution choices are different. The syndicated partner networks differ. These days, the competition is more fierce on Google due to its larger market share. You will find that some ads perform better on Yahoo. In other cases, some ads will perform better on Google. Accordingly, you might need different bids across the 2 PPC systems.

Regarding keyword matching. On Google, you have: exact, phrase, broad (expanded), negative, embedded. On Yahoo, you have: standard, advanced, negative. These are quite different. Make sure you understand the actual keywords that result in your ads being triggered. On Google, use the search query performance report. On Yahoo, be sure to enable the tracking URLs. That will give you the data you need. I like to watch that data carefully:

A few words of caution about Yahoo:
1) Be sure to set an account daily spending limit. This is off by default which puts you at risk for unlimited click charges. See:
2) Make sure you watch your account on a daily basis. Yahoo reserves the right to edit your account. See the comments on this post:
3) Many of the Yahoo search partners are low quality. You cannot opt out. Watch your traffic and block poorly performing domains. You can block up to 500.

You have much better control on Google. For instance, you can block parked domain traffic for your search campaigns. You can also opt out of all search distribution partners, if you want. You don't have those options on Yahoo. If you have the budget, I'd keep the search network on, but consider blocking parked domains. You can use the site and category exclusion tool to see your conversion stats and then block via that tool, if the results are poor:

Take a look at the other responses. If you use both Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing, join in the discussion...

Google AdWords Help Forum

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Need AdWords Help?

AdWords Help ExpertsSome fellow Top Contributors from the AdWords Help Forum recently launched a new site, I've decided to join their AdWords blog.

This should be interesting. I've learned quite a bit from these guys - and gal. I'll continue to post here at Apogee Weblog about a variety of subjects. Obviously, the posts on AdWords Help Experts will be about Google AdWords. ;-)

Subscribe to AdWords Help Experts!

If you want to know more about the AWHE bloggers, here are their profiles from the AdWords Help forum:

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Somebody had to call FAIL on YSM (Yahoo! Search Marketing):


The problem is in the OPTIMIZATION section of the YSM Terms and Conditions, and in their explanation in response to complaints. See if you can spot the problem (emphasis mine):
OPTIMIZATION. In the U.S. only, for those advertisers not bound by an Insertion Order, we may help you optimize your account(s). Accordingly, you expressly agree that we may also: (i) create ads, (ii) add and/or remove keywords, and/or (iii) optimize your account(s). We will notify you via email of such changes made to your account(s), and can also include a spreadsheet of such changes upon your written request. If you would like any of such changes reversed, please reply to such email within 14 days of the change(s), and we will make commercially reasonable efforts to reverse the change(s) you specifically identify. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you remain responsible for all changes made to your account(s), including all click charges incurred prior to any reversions being made. It is your responsibility to monitor your account(s) and to ensure that your account settings are consistent with your business objectives.
Read that again. Does that make you want to shift ad spend from the search advertising market leader Google AdWords over to YSM? Aaron Wall sums up this Yahoo! Search Marketing FAIL rather well (via Bronte Media):
Imagine selling web traffic as a commodity in a blind auction, while touting its value based on the traffic being targeted, relevant, precise, and trackable. Then imagine taking away the default keyword tool on the internet that has been written about in thousands of marketing books, ebooks, and web pages - and replacing it with nothing. Then imagine signing up some seedy publishing partners that run clickbots against your highest value keywords, and giving them the lion's share of the click "value" on those keywords. Then imagine not making it easy for advertisers to opt out of that "traffic." Then imagine editing your advertisers accounts without their permission to alter ad text and keywords, and only informing some of them about the changes sometime after they take place...with 1 in 5 rejecting the changes!
It really is unbelievable how many poor strategic decisions Yahoo! has made with its search advertising product. They've virtually forfeited the game to Google.

IMPORTANT TIP: If you still have a YSM account, be certain you have set an account daily spending limit! It is NOT set by default:
The account daily spending limit is the maximum amount that you want to spend each day. By default, your account daily spending limit is off, enabling you to receive the maximum number of clicks.
If some yahoo might go in and make changes to your account, you don't want to risk unlimited clicks. Yikes!

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