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Old 08-17-2005   #1
shor
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Details On New Yahoo Paid Listings System

Moderator Note: New topic split from 10 Reasons Yahoo Should Kill Direct Traffic Center.

Hi Sebastian, I'll attempt to speak on Yahoo's behalf

New Y!SMS PPC interface
I just came back from a Y!SMS focus group where the Y! reps gave us a preview of the upcoming Y!SMS PPC interface and asked for feedback. While they made sure to reiterate that what we saw was not the final product, what they had on offer looked about 1000x better than the current DTC.

Essentially it was a Google Adwords clone with added functionality. So think Adgroups, multiple creatives, quality scoring - i.e ranks based on max CPC and CTR, much less dependence on the Y!SMS editorial team - in a nutshell, Google reskinned. The interface itself looked very crisp, with on-screen graphing, a tabbed nav bar and more intuitive design.

Some of the non-Google functions were intriguing - the ability to type in a competitor or your own URL which would then be crawled for keywords, an auto-retrieval + submission of keyword capability and a much more robust keyword tool.

Other tidbits:
-Some of the other attendees asked if the Overture Search Optimizer would be retained, but I forgot what was said
-No longer will we be able to see competitors' bid amounts (ala Adwords)
-No longer will we be able to see the bid amount beyond the 10th position (not sure on this)
-Rep was very interested in knowing the minimum amount of historical data we would like to retain (Everyone: "All of it!"). Eventually our group came to a consensus that the absolute minimum would be at least 1 year of PPC data
-Would there be a Google Adwords-like help centre with Flash demos? Answer: unsure
-Reports to be highly customizable and could be scheduled (ala Adwords)
-I asked if Y! would provide a greater level of ongoing feedback and status reports for future updates/maintenance eg. Y!Search blog or Inside Adwords to which they replied "We'll keep that in mind"
-There was no NDC, so this info should be fine to spread around
-We were just one of many focus groups conducted this week, with a good mix of users ranging from mom-pop accounts with several dozen keywords up to diamond/platinum level clients/ad agencies

Note:
Keep in mind the entire presentation used static slides, so we have no idea how close Y! are to the transition from DTC. When we asked for a rough delivery schedule, Y! replied that there would be a seamless 3 phase implementation in the near future (attendee asked "1 month, 3 months, 6 months?", Y! reply: "Very soon"). Most importantly, the Y! rep made it clear that the rollover to the new interface would be painless and effortless for clients (fingers crossed).

Conclusion
Y! are planning a major overhaul of their PPC system to make the interface much more intuitive and user-friendly, in fact, very Adwords-like with the addition of some Y! innovations. As I told the rep, anything would be better than the current DTC, and this looks like a giant step in the right direction.

Last edited by dannysullivan : 08-18-2005 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 08-17-2005   #2
Mel66
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Wow Shor, I'm not sure this is a step in the right direction at all. While I agree that the DTC is very broken and needs a lot of improvement, I'm not sure I like the idea of them copy-catting Adwords with regard to the CTRxCPC ranking algo and all that. One of the benefits of OV/Yahoo has always been the fact that you know exactly what you need to bid to rank 1, 2, 3 or whatever. You can decide if it's a price you're willing to pay, and if so, you're assured of that position until someone outbids you. And with bid management software, you have a lot of control over the entire situation. While the new Adwords keyword evaluation system gives advertisers the minimum bids they'll need to pay, there's still no way to bid to position the way you currently can in Yahoo/OV. We use both programs, and both have a lot of value to us. Like I said, differentiation is a good thing, and I'm not sure why Yahoo would want to change their entire model in (what looks like) an effort to copy Google.

I do like the Ad Group and multiple creatives concept, though. That has been a problem with OV from day one - no testing.

Am I the only one who likes the current OV bid model??

Melissa
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Old 08-17-2005   #3
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Shor - Thanks and A question about targeting

Shor thanks for taking the time to tell us what you have learned.

Did you find out anything regarding the ability to exclude content partner sites, competitor IP's from running your ads or clicking on your ads?

I have a list of 30 Domains that cost me over 12k per month on Yahoo! which produce plenty of clicks and absolutely zero conversions. There are another 200 sites that produce 5-20 clicks/month with no conversions that cost me another 2-4k per month. Add on top of this all the clicks we get from foreign countries and we end up paying about 35% of our total ad spend on Overture for completely useless clicks that we can clearly identify, but can't remove.

To me Y! can change virtually everthing in DTC, but if they don't provide a way to exclude domains and competitors then it is all for not.

Discovery
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Old 08-17-2005   #4
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Hi everyone,

As a company that relies on customer feedback to innovate, were always conducting research to test out our ideas for new products, features and services. Weve been holding focus groups over the past several months to evaluate our DTC and gain insight into the various test scenarios were exploring.

To help you understand where were going long-term and whats being done in the short term, Id like to give you a sense for the bigger picture and timeframes we have in mind.

As I mentioned before, we're working on replacing the interface you currently use (YES, this means a new DTC). Our plan is to begin introducing the new interface early next year. In the meantime, we know that you need to be able to run your campaigns successfully, so we're also addressing many of the points youve raised about the performance of our current system. Over the next several months, well be making infrastructure improvements that will tackle issues like system speed, availability and reporting.

Well be holding a systems upgrade this weekend as part of these ongoing efforts. It's not going to provide a "quick fix," but it will lead to improvements that we hope will alleviate some of the burdens you've described and make it easier for you to work with us in the future.

I hope this has shed a bit more light on what we're doing and what to expect from us in the coming months. I'll keep you posted as we get closer to rolling out the new interface, and welcome your ongoing feedback on this and other threads. Thanks again for your honesty - keep it coming.


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Old 08-17-2005   #5
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Shor - that's some good info and I appreciate you taking the time to share. I guess that's the benefit of having the luxury of enough free to attend networking conferences. I wish I had the same free time....

I agree with Melissa and Discovery. I too have always been a fan of true market bidding regardless of CTR. It should be up to advertiser where they want to hang their sign and not the engine displaying it. This analogy is like a downtown billboard company refusing to run your ad in a prime location because you are promoting a restaurant in the suburbs.

Moderator Note:Off-topic complaint on paid links on placeholder sites split into new thread, Complaint On Yahoo PPC On Placeholder Sites.

Last edited by dannysullivan : 08-18-2005 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 08-17-2005   #6
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YahooSarah says:

Quote:
Id like to give you a sense for the bigger picture and timeframes we have in mind.
where's the time frames?

Thanks for responding, but you just summarized what Shor relayed in detail. You mention alluding to time frames yet I do not see that in your response.

1 week?

1 month?

1 year?

Speptember 30?

2010?

Please ...again, after 4 years of the same responses, can Yahoo give us anything concrete?

I really appreciate that you have finally responded again, but why just swoop in and give generalities without answering any questions directly or actually partaking in the discussion?

Thanks.

Last edited by sebastian : 08-17-2005 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 08-17-2005   #7
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Sebastian,

As per my post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by YahooSarah

Our plan is to begin introducing the new interface early next year.
I can't get any more concrete at this point but will continue to post more details as we lock them down.

YahooSarah
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Old 08-22-2005   #8
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Say it Ain't So.....

Thanks for sharing Shor, that is some good stuff. Melissa has really hit the nail on the head for me. In my opinion, Yahoo's biggest asset is that their ppc program is different from Google's. And knowing what your competitor's bids are? C'mon, it's gold! I do agree that the interface, reporting, and time issues need to be updated, but there are some really good things that I strongly believe should remain the same.

Thanks
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Old 08-24-2005   #9
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Yahoo Search Marketing

Don't be too quick to change your current Search Marketing set up to a copy of Google. I find Yahoo far superior to the Google Adwords. Your Keyword Tool is more on target than theirs. I like the ability to see other bids and the power to choose my placement.

I think it is extremly arrogant of Google to take our money and leave us blind and powerless as to our placement. Don't make this mistake!

For this reason, I spend three times more of my advertising budget with Yahoo than I do with Google.
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Old 08-24-2005   #10
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Yes choice is good

I agree a clone of Google is not optimal for us SEMS.
But there is nothing wrong with taking concepts that work very well and improving upon them.

Keyword tools offered from Y!?
Sure they are nice to play around with, however every Joe who opens an account will use this tool and use these same keywords at Y!. This results in inflated prices, not to mention the horribly unnecessary and tedious task of maintaining your bids against all these people using the same terms. I would mine your keywords elsewhere.

This continuous bid management is an inherent problem with the bidding system used by Y!. There is a point of diminishing returns where the cost of time you spend on management outweighs the return you get in lower costs. It is very difficult to determine where that point is for your business/marketing campaigns.

Dimwittedly you do give up some control with Googles CTR system. There are positives and negatives with this approach which have been discussed here numerous times. As for our company we feel as though we have been justly rewarded with higher positioning and lower Click costs because we have taken the time to write compelling, honest ads, with relevant keywords directed towards content rich pages. We win with conversions at low costs and Google wins by offering their searchers relevant ads and content, as well as garnering our ad dollars.

I do like being able to instantly monopolize the real estate for our industry on Y! when I want to simply by throwing dollars at it. Fortunately we're in a position to do so when we need to. However, this ability comes with a premium price tag. A price many others can't afford even those who may, dare I say, have a better product or service.

Timing is everything for Y!. Once again, if these changes are not significant and don't take place before MSN goes live, no matter what Y! changes with DTC the majority of us who are very unhappy will leave quickly and most likely for good.

Once burned twice shy.

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Old 08-24-2005   #11
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Yahoo Search Marketing

I agree that there are some changes which need to be made to the Traffic Center Model.

1. Redesign their encryption program, I believe it is the main reason their pages load so slowly.

2. Allow users to choose their landing page. For instance, go directly to manage bids instead of forcing them to go through several slow loading pages before you can click on the page you want.

3. Drop down menus for categories allowing you to choose the section you wish to visit.

4. Design a separate page for search keyword phase without loading your keyword search terms under it. It would load fast and allow you to quickly search for the keyword phase you wish to modify.

Regardless of the time involved, I still prefer to manage my placement than have it done for me. We have a good CTR with Google and most likely pay less for our ads because of it. I understand the benifit. It just seems Yahoo is trying to change to be more like Google when it seems Google is trying to change to be more like Yahoo. Just hope we end up with the best of both worlds.
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Old 08-24-2005   #12
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You and I both Scout

I certainly hope Yahoo! will be successful in their changing of the DTC.

Nothing could make me happier, and potentially richer, than a marketplace with 3 world class networks and PPC management sytems in it.

Cheers,

Jerry
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Old 08-24-2005   #13
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Angry Yahoo Search Marketing

I hope their weekend upgrade was not an example of things to come! I see no improvement in load time...Received 404 errors for most of the afternoon...and their bids are currently not updating properly!

Let us hope they learn from their errors and next attempt works out better!

Cheers to you too.

Scout
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Old 08-27-2005   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian
I too have always been a fan of true market bidding regardless of CTR. It should be up to advertiser where they want to hang their sign and not the engine displaying it. This analogy is like a downtown billboard company refusing to run your ad in a prime location because you are promoting a restaurant in the suburbs
PPC is nothing like a billboard. Someone selling space on a billboard to the highest bidder is selling just that, visual space. The price is set in advance, and billboard owners get paid whether anyone visits that restaurant or not. In the case of billboards, advertisers enforce relevance.

Yahoo and Google aren't paid to display ads. They're paid for clicks, at varying prices. Google's system uses a market model that maximizes their revenue per ad unit, and Yahoo would be foolish to ignore that. Marketers who understand the system can drive far more traffic at far lower prices.

With Adwords, you're offering to pay Google $x per impression, based on your maximum bid and CTR. With Yahoo, you're offering $x per click, and Yahoo has to show your ad even if they could make more money by displaying someone else's ad. How could that possibly be sustainable for Yahoo?

I'm not surprised when I see folks complaining about the Google system. If the campaigns I've worked on with my students are typical, it's laughably easy to crack into just about any keyword space on Adwords. From this, I conclude that most advertisers are completely inept at managing and optimizing Adwords campaigns. Maybe they'll get smarter when Yahoo starts running their auctions the same way.
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Old 08-28-2005   #15
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Can someone tell me just how Yahoo! is going to change current accounts, with thousands of keywords, over to this new CPC x CTR method? Granted this change is not going to take place until next year at the earliest, but this seems to be a nightmare.

Under this new CPC x CTR method, do exact matches still come first like it does today with Advanced match? Even google gives a ton of weight if you use exact match with [] to the relevancy of the keyword.

Am I considered one of the few who likes their current bidding process with advanced match? We spend more on Overture by far then what we spend on google.

Last point - I have found YSM results to be much more relevant than googles listings. YahooSarah - care to comment on why something that works well will change?

JD
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Old 09-27-2005   #16
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Bidding on keywords

It would be a serious mistake for Yahoo to switch to a 'blind' bidding system like Googles. We put a lot more of our advertising $ into Overture than Google right now because of the greater control Yahoo offers. For instance, on some keywords, there may be multiple reasons why a person is doing that search--all totally unrelated to one another. You need to know who has what ad, what they are paying, etc to know how to bid for proper placement. A perfect example of this is a keyword search on 'chicory seed'. A person doing this search may be looking for seed to grow chicory, seed to use as seasoning, seed to be used as an herbal remedy, or seed to use as bait for hunting. In this example, it makes no sense to pay top dollar for top placement when the top five listings are vendors advertising for bait, and you are selling the seed for some other use. Yahoo has its many flaws, but in our business, this control factor is extremely important, and is a major deciding factor in our money being placed there. By the way, has anyone noticed the rather bizarre search results in Yahoo lately?
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Old 09-29-2005   #17
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The start of the changes is happening this weekend.

I agree that removing the bid price info would greatly restrict Yahoo.... then they would be another version of Google and it ultimately comes to the question where am I converting better... since Google offers a larger amount of traffic I think on a head to head basis people will work with Google first.

Right now the ability to see the bids and place your accordingly is the only thing that has Yahoo in the race. Many advertisers like this over the uncertainty of CTRs and Max CPCs... I would suggest YSM be careful in what it rolls out...
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Old 09-29-2005   #18
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I would suggest YSM be careful in what it rolls out...
they can't operate an inefficient marketplace forever. bring on the CTR !!!
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Old 12-31-2005   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YahooSarah
Hi everyone,

As a company that relies on customer feedback to innovate, were always conducting research to test out our ideas for new products, features and services. Weve been holding focus groups over the past several months to evaluate our DTC and gain insight into the various test scenarios were exploring.

To help you understand where were going long-term and whats being done in the short term, Id like to give you a sense for the bigger picture and timeframes we have in mind.

As I mentioned before, we're working on replacing the interface you currently use (YES, this means a new DTC). Our plan is to begin introducing the new interface early next year. In the meantime, we know that you need to be able to run your campaigns successfully, so we're also addressing many of the points youve raised about the performance of our current system. Over the next several months, well be making infrastructure improvements that will tackle issues like system speed, availability and reporting.

Well be holding a systems upgrade this weekend as part of these ongoing efforts. It's not going to provide a "quick fix," but it will lead to improvements that we hope will alleviate some of the burdens you've described and make it easier for you to work with us in the future.

I hope this has shed a bit more light on what we're doing and what to expect from us in the coming months. I'll keep you posted as we get closer to rolling out the new interface, and welcome your ongoing feedback on this and other threads. Thanks again for your honesty - keep it coming.


YahooSarah
Sarah,

I know as of August you could not give any further information as to a timeline. As we have gotten closer to "early next year," any futher updates as far as implementation dates of the new interface? Especially changing from the current bidding system to a CTR based positioning system estimated time frame would be great?

Thank you
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