Friday, March 23, 2007

Yahoo! sponsored search to become like Adwords

So I got this fairly interesting email from Yahoo! sponsored search
(ie pay-per-click) support, about the "new" sponsored search they've
been threatening for some time now.

For those of you unfamiliar with Yahoo! (formerly Overture), it works
completely differently from Google Adwords. In the latter, you write
an ad, then pick a number of keywords that you want the ad to show
for, and it's usually up and running within a few minutes, getting
clicks (and costing you money, of course).

In the Overture/Yahoo! universe, things are a lot less simple. First
you choose the keywords. Then you are supposed to write an ad for each
keyword. Now it's true that there are buttons to copy down your first
ad to all the other keywords, but it's still a bit of a pain to do.
And the user interface is really unresponsive and unintuitive compared
to Google. Plus, your ads don't start running immediately. Oh no. You
have to wait anything up to three days for a human to "approve" your
ads and keywords. And if they don't think your ads properly describe
your website, they reject the keyword. Seriously.

Anyway, it's quite funny to see Yahoo! explaining the New Search.
What's new about it? "Fast Ad Activation", for one: ads online within
minutes! Wow! What a unique and brilliant idea!

But there's more! " Individual titles and descriptions will apply to
multiple keywords." I see. For those confused by this, Yahoo!
helpfully explains that " Titles, descriptions and URLs" will be
"known as "ads" in the new Sponsored Search". Uh huh. And "Keywords
and ads will be organised into ad groups" - exactly as they are in
Adwords. And then "One or more ad groups will make up a campaign". You
don't say.

They could have saved everyone a lot of time by saying, "You know
Adwords? Right, that's what the new Yahoo! Sponsored Search will be
like." And about time too.


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