With all the pay per click spy tools out there now, even Yahoo is getting into the act. When using the manual campaign builder, they now let you see your competitor’s ads right in your own account. This feature may have been around for a while, but I usually import spreadsheets to build campaigns so I didn’t notice. It’s a very powerful feature though.
To use it, on the “Create your ads” step, it will show your keywords for the current adgroup. Under which it says, “Click above to view ads that currently appear in response to a search on your selected keywords.”
When you click a keyword, Yahoo will pop up a new box showing the top competitors ads for that keyword. You can see exactly which ads you will be up against.
Check it out next time you are working in your YSM account.
I’m sure everyone has read about the Google/Yahoo ad sharing deal. If not here’s the whole thing in a nutshell:
“The agreement will enable Yahoo! to run ads supplied by Google’s AdSense™ for Search and AdSense™ for Content services next to Yahoo!’s internally generated paid search and algorithmic search results. Yahoo may also run Google-supplied ads on non-search Yahoo web properties, as well as on current members of its partner network.”
To me this is just another example of Google getting stronger and Yahoo getting weaker. It’s pretty disappointing really because it there going to be fewer and fewer alternatives to Google. I have always pulled for Yahoo to hold their own and provide a real alternative to Google.
All this deal really does is makes Google’s content network bigger, as paid search ads will now spill over to Yahoo results and sites. So to you and me that means, we better be good at running Google content campaigns. My only question is, will Google let you specifically site target Yahoo properties? We’ll have to see.
I was setting up a campaign on Yahoo the other day and when I got to the bid price section I was presented with this estimate.
As much as I would love to get 2.4 billion clicks in a month to this campaign at .11 a click, sadly I think they are just a little bit off in their estimates. Obviously this was an error with Yahoo’s content network stats, but the reason I bring it up is that ALL of the big 3 are usually way off in their click estimates. MSN is another service that is usually pretty far off with their estimates. It’s easy to get excited when you are shown that estimate of 5,000 clicks, but at the end of the month its usually a fraction of that. As far as who’s interface provides the most accurate estimates, I would say:
So this is a call out to all the PPC networks (you know you are reading this). We need more accurate click forecasts. It helps us set monthly budgets and allocate resources better and ultimately spend more money on PPC.
As I predicted, Microsoft put in an offer to buy Yahoo today for 44.6 billion. While it’s not a done deal yet, Yahoo is considering it and if they are smart they will take it. What does this mean for the search world? That remains to be seen, but if I were Google I would be VERY nervous. If any company is powerful enough to take down the Google juggernaut it is Microsoft. Combine Microsoft with Yahoo and you have a market share grabbing machine. I think this merger would be an GREAT thing for search marketers. If Yahoosoft could grab 50% of search in 2 years think of the possibilities for search marketers. Think MSN conversion rates with 3 times the current volume. Should be interesting to see how this plays out…
One of the big weaknesses of Yahoo and MSN’s PPC interfaces is their lack of offline editors to build a campaign. Fortunately you can build all your campaigns with the Google Adwords editor, then export those results. From all the tools I have tried, the Adwords editor is the fastest way to build up a campaign, so I start every campaign there, regardless of where it will end up. It’s pretty simple to do, but there are a few things to watch out for.
Once you build your campaign the first step is to export it as a CSV file. Once you have the CSV file, you are ready to import it.
To get a Google Adwords CSV file into Yahoo you first have to convert it. I believe you need a Gold account to use this tool, but it’s not hard to get one. Simply point it to your file and click “convert”
Once you have the converted file, there may be some formatting issues. First check to make sure the program joined the 2 line Google ad text into the 1 line Yahoo format correctly. Then search/replace the content matching column from on to off. Once everything looks good you can upload the converted file.
Once imported, set your GEO targeting and other options and you are ready to go.
For MSN, no conversion is required. Just point to your Google CSV file and choose import.
MSN magically converts your file and uploads the new campaign. But now you have a big problem. MSN imports the new campaign with all the adgroups inactive. You then have to manually go and active each adgroup. If you have a large number of adgroups (like you should) this is a huge task. I have talked with the MSN people and they say they are working on a solution, but for now it’s a manual process. This makes the MSN import process the hardest by far. But it is still much faster to build the campaign with the Adwords editor and import, than it would be to build the campaign in MSN itself.
If you don’t make it to conferences, there are still ways to learn good info directly from the sources. One way is a “webinar”. Although I really hate that word, they can be very valuable. Yahoo is putting one on Monday 9/17/07 at 11:00 a.m. PDT Even if you just listen to them in the background while working on other stuff like I do, it might be worth tuning in.
Webinar #1: The Quality Index
• Definition of the quality index and how it is determined
• How you should use the quality index as you manage your campaigns
• Review best practices for improving ad quality
Registration link here
I’ve made no secret on my blog that YSM is my favorite PPC engine. No, it doesn’t have the stellar interface and offline editor that Adwords has, but considering all factors like price, traffic quality, ease of keeping ads online, Yahoo is my favorite. It seems now they are trying to ad cool little Adwords type tools lately, like the new Yahoo Ad Generator.
It works kind of like a keyword permutation tool. You enter a few titles, and short sentences, as well as your display URL, and destination URL. Then the tool generates many variations of your ad automatically and puts them in a pending area for you to view. It will optimize performance of the ads by comparing the ads in this area from your running ads to find the best CTRs in the group.
I like this new tool and the general direction Yahoo seems to be heading with YSM. Give it a shot today, maybe you can raise your CTR and find some new top performing ads.
So Yahoo “officially” launched their Quality Based Pricing a few days ago. According to Yahoo the key points to this system are:
To me this is pretty much a non announcement. For one, it’s a totally black box system. Advertisers have no insight to the conversion rates of the various sites and partners that are used to calculate the quality rating. We are just supposed to wait and hope for discounts occasionally based on Yahoo’s calculations. We can’t make any changes to where our ads are displayed to react to quality issues. This seems to be an effort by Yahoo to say “Hey, we care about quality, especially on our content network, so please use it”.