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Old 05-08-2006   #1
OptimizeOnline
 
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Yahoo Announces New Search Advertising Platform Is Coming

Here is a Press Release sent by Yahoo! today:

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Company outlines plans to introduce easy-to-use customer interface, new forecasting features, enhanced testing and targeting capabilities, and quality-based ranking model

Burbank, Calif. May 8, 2006 – Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), a leading global Internet company, today announced that it will begin rolling out a completely redesigned search advertising platform in the third quarter of this year to help businesses more easily connect to Yahoo!’s vast audience. In conjunction with the announcement, Yahoo! released the new search ad application program interfaces (APIs) designed to support the new platform. Replacing the original system that created the search advertising industry, Yahoo! new platform will enable marketers to more quickly launch search advertising campaigns across Yahoo! and its distribution network, and help achieve better overall return on their search advertising investment.

The new platform will be deployed on a country-by-country basis, with multiple phases within each market to help ensure a smooth transition for the hundreds of thousands of businesses that advertise with Yahoo! and to allow search engine marketers ample time to build upon Yahoo!’s new APIs. The first phase, building the core data platform and technologies, is near completion. The second phase will begin in the third quarter, when Yahoo! makes its new campaign management application and initial features accessible to advertisers. After the majority of advertisers have become familiar with the new features in a given market, Yahoo! will begin the third phase in that market, implementing a quality-based ranking model.

“We’ve designed our new platform to allow advertisers to reach Yahoo!’s audience through search as well as take advantage of advertising opportunities across all of our unique marketplaces, communications and social media assets,” said Steve Mitgang, Yahoo!’s senior vice president of advertising platforms and products. “Yahoo!’s new technologies and features should encourage more participation in search advertising by making it easier for marketers to understand the performance of their campaigns and experiment more frequently with the medium.”

The new campaign management application was developed based on input from thousands of advertisers worldwide. The initial version will focus on overall ease-of-use in launching and managing campaigns, and providing greater visibility into campaign performance, coupled with more control over how to improve performance The new features and capabilities that will be available in the first version of the application include:

- Intuitive Control Panel – provides a simplified interface with user-tested navigation, allowing advertisers to easily understand their performance and providing them opportunities to modify or enhance campaigns every step of the way

- Enhanced Geographic Targeting – leverages Yahoo!’s WhereonEarth technology, which draws from 15 years of geo-targeting expertise to enable Yahoo! to more accurately understand and match to user search intent (“Soho, NY” versus “Soho, London”) and colloquial terms (“restaurant near Fenway Park” is in central Boston, MA)

- Fast Ad Activation – provides a streamlined content review process that allows advertisers to launch most new ad campaigns in less than 30 minutes

- Ad Testing – supports automatic rotation of multiple versions of ads to determine the most effective, and, over time, displays the highest-performing ads more frequently

- Visible Quality Index – scores ads based on quality, bid and other relevance variables, and will be made visible to advertisers to enable them to gauge and optimize placement when the quality-based ranking model is implemented

- Share of Clicks Forecasting – displays data regarding the bid needed to achieve an estimated specific share of expected clicks, helping advertisers to set and reach traffic and conversion volume goals

- Goal-Based Optimization – enables advertisers to let Yahoo! automatically help find the least expensive way to meet their business goals-defined as Cost Per Acquisition or Return on Ad Spend

- Assists – shows advertisers the full value and contribution of every campaign by allowing them to see how ads drive both immediate and deferred conversions across multiple campaigns -- not just the last click that led to a conversion

“While the enhancements to our platform are dramatic and will provide immediate benefits to our advertisers, we ultimately rebuilt our system with the future in mind,” said Mitgang. “Once the first version of the core platform is in place, we will be able to move quickly to build in capabilities that ultimately will provide search advertisers deeper access to Yahoo!’s more than 420 million users, broader advertising capabilities, proven targeting expertise and global distribution network.”

Future versions of the new platform will include additional distribution options and audience targeting based on factors that could include demographic information or online behavior, as well as additional ad formats enhanced with graphics or rich media.

For more information about Yahoo!’s current search marketing offerings, please visit: http://searchmarketing.yahoo.co.uk.
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Old 05-08-2006   #2
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I've also just added a rundown on the SEW Blog: Yahoo Unveils Public Details Of "Panama" Ad System Upgrade.
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Old 05-08-2006   #3
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Likely to affect YPN ads, too

I'm assuming that the changes will lead to better YPN payouts as well (in the long run). Nothing like competition to keep everyone on their toes. Yahoo must have been annoyed for a long time to see Google put their own patent to better use than they had!

Last edited by Marcia : 05-08-2006 at 03:00 PM. Reason: Anchor text link removed.
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Old 05-08-2006   #4
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Long expected and some nice innovations. Looking forward to implementing the new features.
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Old 05-08-2006   #5
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Still to come..

I'm cautiously optimistic to see the latest iteration of DTC, however the release concerns me on a couple fronts.

#1. They say they have had extensive testing with user groups.
I understand the focus groups are limited, however I have never been invited to provide any input and we have been active for 3 years and spend over 500k a year on YSM. I consider SEW to be comprised of many of the industries leading advertisers, both in experience and ad spend. Curiously, I have not seen one post of any person being part of such a group in this forum or in any other. Come this dev cycle has been going on for almost 3 years... who are these people who have kept so tight lipped all this time? If they’re not found here could they really represent a solid sample of the majority of YSM users?

#2A. No domain name level exclusions. From what I understand of the press release there is no ability to exclude domains from search or YPN. This is most certainly one of the most requested changes I have seen and requested over the past two years. With click fraud quickly becoming the news story of the year and the issue that angers us advertisers most I cant believe they would not address it directly. I guess the revenue stream from these junk click farms is too great to let go of.

#2B. No mention of any tools or features to detect, report and or solve click fraud problems in an efficient manner. I believe all the bigs should start to implement features that allow advertisers to self police and report click fraud activity. This will give the network the ability to summarize the data quickly and take action. I know they have their own data on fraudulent activity, but this would be data coming from the advertisers point of view.

#3. 3rd Quarter? With all the promises YSM has failed to deliver on I believe they should have kept their mouths shut until 30 days before a guaranteed launch. I don't need but a day or two to convert and adapt to their new features. Announcing this 2-6 months in advance is another PR mistake.


Positive side:

I'm very glad to see some type of bid management tools that will allow advertisers to base their bid strategy upon business objectives.

Robust targeting is a welcomed change.

"instant on" for new ad campaigns in conjunction with ad testing features is a huge win.

VQI and forecasting are nice, but their success will obviously depend upon their accuracy.

I do hope YSM will launch this upgrade in the first month of the 3rd quarter, if they draw it out to the end of the 3rd I believe you will have a pretty agitated rather than excited audience.

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Old 05-08-2006   #6
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"streamlined content review process"... Thank god!

This is great news, though it might take some adjusting at first. I wonder how far back the qulity based ranking model is going to search for CTR. Right now nearly all of our ads at Yahoo! are written to specifically exclude all unqualified clicks, allowing us to bid in first position. In Google, our approach to writing ads is much different. I have seen Yahoo! listings that have been testing this new quality rankings and our 1st place ads drop to 4th and 5th. I'd hate to think that as soon as this goes live, all of our ads are going to drop. I know that at some point, I am going to have to edit/re-write all of our ads before this new ranking system goes into effect, I just don't know when.
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Old 05-09-2006   #7
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Quote:
Curiously, I have not seen one post of any person being part of such a group in this forum or in any other.
I am not sure about this specific focus group, but having been a part of another Yahoo focus group, NDAs are required, so this could explain why no one is blabbing about it

I had the opportunity to have a peek and a rundown on the new platform on Monday, and I am very impressed. It has some great features for expert users, as well as a nice interface and some features for the newbies too. Danny did his extensive rundown, and I'll go read through his again and see if there is anything I can add to it, but did like what I saw.
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Old 05-09-2006   #8
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#3. 3rd Quarter? With all the promises YSM has failed to deliver on I believe they should have kept their mouths shut until 30 days before a guaranteed launch. I don't need but a day or two to convert and adapt to their new features. Announcing this 2-6 months in advance is another PR mistake.
I have a strong feeling that this announcement was forced on them rather than offered to us on their own terms. With MSN breaking away, they had to do something to keep customers' anticipation and support. Knowing software releases, the vague deadline means that they are so far off delivery date that even they are not sure when it will happen...

Nevertheless, I think this is something to be very happy and excited about, I give it a thumbs up and since it has some really good features, I am willing to wait... Bring it on! I say!
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Old 05-31-2006   #9
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They sent out an email that also can be seen here:
http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/nl/may06ts.php
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Old 06-16-2006   #10
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They have to do something...

Well if you look at it MSN is new, but they already have great Targeting and Optimization when it comes to their Campaigns.

I not found such capabilities with Yahoo yet... I'd love to know if they do... AND would love to see it roll in place. So far MSN has my attention.
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Old 06-19-2006   #11
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No big surprise...

I don't doubt they'd do something to enhance their service, but I think it had alot to do with alot of people leaving and trying out MSN. MSN does have fantastic targeting and optimization like the Dynamic Text Feature. I think Yahoo just threw out a hook to keep us around... Looking foward to seeing them put it into action!
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Old 06-19-2006   #12
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Originally Posted by Pirate Princess
I don't doubt they'd do something to enhance their service, but I think it had alot to do with alot of people leaving and trying out MSN. MSN does have fantastic targeting and optimization like the Dynamic Text Feature. I think Yahoo just threw out a hook to keep us around... Looking foward to seeing them put it into action!
Actually this has been the slow conversion process to the old Overture system. They took a lot longer than was expected but it was in the works a lot longer than MSN.
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