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Old 01-27-2006   #1
sebastian
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Yahoo Finally Changes DTC to Enhance User Experience - NOT!

NOT.

But I bet when you saw the headline, a spark of "about time" excitement developed.

Truth is we have had no action.

I would like to ask YahooSarah or anyone at the company why these promises of change have not developed.

In July 2005, we, as a forum group of longtime users of Yahoo Search Marketing, spent weeks developing an extensive and comprehensive list of over 50 changes that would improve our lives as advertisers. The thread was featured, starred and contained an insane amount of impressions and input.

Here is the thread: 10 Reasons Yahoo Should Kill Direct Traffic Center

And deep in this thread you will find a statement by Yahoo's rep, YahooSarah:
Quote:
We're planning additional systems updates over the course of the next several weeks and months and we realize there may be some inconvenience in the short term. Please know that we're going to take all measures possible to give you advance warning and minimize their impact on you and your accounts. (And we really mean that!).
So, after 6 months, where are the changes?

As we move into February '06 next week, we will have chewed up almost 1/2 a year with absolutely no evident action being taken with regards to any of our wishes.

Instead, Yahoo jumps into the forum and informs us that they will be further limiting our ad copy. (read: generalizing copy to incur additional "general" search clicks and thus create additional revenue for Yahoo)

Certainly, I cannot be the only person here who sees fallacy with this? HELLO!!!??? How about the things we asked for be completed first?

Why would they simply ignore an obviously *important* thread regarding core user experience?

Why would these issues go more than 1/2 a year with no response, no action and thus no follow-through?

Am I wrong for believing that these issues should be more important than just about any *new* releases at Yahoo? Am I wrong to believe we as clients are not as important to Yahoo as they so carefully state in all correspondence to us?

I am not looking for a Yahoo response carefully crafted with ambiguous statements. I am not looking for Yahoo to take it upon themselves to modify my ads and tell me about it later via the forum... I am looking for a very clear and concise time frame as to when they plan to address and implement the changes that were so perfectly outlined and delivered to them by all of us.

Is that too much to ask?

Anything less is a complete admission to the fact that they just don't care.
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Old 01-27-2006   #2
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IMO, Yahoo is like a big ole politician. "Tell 'em what they want to hear and give 'em nothin'. They're too stupid to know the difference. And even if they do figure it out, there ain't a damn thing they can do about it."

Personally, when MSN rolls our their PPC, I'll be doing something.
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Old 01-30-2006   #3
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You won't be the only one!

I hope that MSN Ad Center's move is going to wake Yahoo up.
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Old 01-30-2006   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian
But I bet when you saw the headline, a spark of "about time" excitement developed.
Sebastian, once again you've hit the nail on the head in a "it would be funny if it weren't true" manner. Where *are* the changes we were promised? Or were they referring to the shorter ad length, which was not one of the 50 things we asked for in that thread? Where, indeed, are the improvements?

Yahoo, we're waiting......
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Old 01-30-2006   #5
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Much of the frustration here is the fact that many of the "50 or so" changes we outlined in the huge "10 Reasons..." post are easy fixes requiring minimal development.

Things like UI (user interface) changes and form elements would be very small changes that would help make management of large accounts more efficient by massive proportions.

I understand the desire to release something new and shiny; but if that new product is months or years off, it's irresponsible to leave your clients out there just hanging during the development process.

And again, the saddest and most aggravating part of it all is the fact that a perfectly capable and knowledgeable rep is reading this forum and refusing to offer a point of view and/or answer the proposed questions.

Makes it painful to stroke those large checks each month.

Last edited by sebastian : 01-30-2006 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 01-31-2006   #6
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*puts on flame retardant suit*

I know I'm going to get a kick for this, but here goes.

I personally think yahoo is doing OK. They just recently started working with me again (Gold Level) after we were absent form PPC for about a year. Their suggestions were spot on and I'm excited about the opportunities here.

Is DTC perfect - hell no.

But, in my busy world, I haven't got a lot of time to worry about them improving their systems. I simply adapt. Work with what I'm given.

I realize this may seems all pie-in-the-sky to some, but I've been into SEO for over 5 years now, and PPC since GoTo was Tha Man.

Can Yahoo do things to improve - yep.

Is a thread by a (relative) few members of their actual user group going to do anything - nope.

This may be important to folks like us who work this stuff daily, but to them, we are but a few lonely voices lamenting that which we do not have...

I simply choose to suck it up, rather than complain.

In the end, there are more non-pro users of PPC than pro-users. If THEY don't complain, well, Yahoo will get to it when it's good and ready. Where I work, it's easy to see how projects get pushed back 6 - 9 months. No tideal, but it happens when things become so interwoven with other things - it's simply not as easy as we'd sometimes like.

Anyway, I'm not saying they don't need to change - I am saying don't sweat it.

Duane
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Old 01-31-2006   #7
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Tee up the ball

Duane, you're right you may get a full on body tackle for such a stance, but I do understand where some of your sentiment comes from. None of us have the time to single handedly complain enough to Y! to get their issues fixed, so why waste our time doing so? Plus our group is just a peon in comparison to the overall group of Y! users. It is easy to say, just live with it, but I don't believe in a defeatist stance on anything.

We may be a smaller group, but I bet since most of us do this for a living we represent a large chunk of ad rev to Y!. More importantly our opinions and ability to affect brand image is worth a whole lot more than our collective ad spend.

What we do need to do is somehow focus our efforts. We are a stick without a spear. We need to carve our efforts into a sharp point by which the likes of Y! MSN and Google will pay attention to or face getting a little jab.

I do understand that if you dont have too much money riding on the bigs then these issues can be brushed aside, some of us are not in that situation. These shortcomings mean majors dollars leaking out of our profit margins every day.

Y! has only offered us lip service and they're starting to look like McJagger.

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Old 01-31-2006   #8
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Please don't misunderstand me - my mind (at least while I was typing earlier) wasn't in "defeatist-mode"... (it's 4:32 PM here now, and I'm fried for today at this point... )

Your point on the pointy spear is bang on. Trouble is, and I think this hits it for many, there just aren't enough hours in the day to get the work done AND fight-the-good-fight...

I'm all up for getting the Big 3 to listen up when online PPC pros talk - back in the day, our company was into PPC for roughly $60K USD per month between G & Y!... I would have really enjoyed that "personal" attention I was apparently supposed to get from my Platinum rep... *chuckles* Google simply shrugged and said "Meh..."

Perhaps I am growing pragmatic as my days progress. I mean, I really wish Y! WOULD get it's corporate head out of it's "Happy-to-be-#-2" a$$ and pay attention, but between the daily grind and internal concerns in my own environment, it's tough to muster the strength to hurl the pebble at Goliath.

Perhaps, in 6 - 8 months, when I'm back to my old spending levels, I'll have a different view...but in the "old days" I didn't mind doing the work by hand, with the tools as presented.

Alas, I ramble...

Anyone wanting a pound of flesh - I'll be in NY for SES later this month. We can rope of an area in the lobby at the Hilton...
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Old 02-01-2006   #9
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Quote:
Perhaps I am growing pragmatic as my days progress. I mean, I really wish Y! WOULD get it's corporate head out of it's "Happy-to-be-#-2" a$$ and pay attention, but between the daily grind and internal concerns in my own environment, it's tough to muster the strength to hurl the pebble at Goliath.
Driving change at Yahoo Search Marketing is not about "fighting a fight". It's about basic accountability. We have identified not only technical issues but simple user interface design basics that when implemented would not only improve our experiences but potentially increase the usage of the product. I, for one, have chosen to NOT use Yahoo Search Marketing for many of the same campaigns where I use Google simply because it would take me a month the build the campaign properly at Y!. That's lost revenue for Y!.
Quote:
We may be a smaller group, but I bet since most of us do this for a living we represent a large chunk of ad rev to Y!. More importantly our opinions and ability to affect brand image is worth a whole lot more than our collective ad spend.
Yes. I am glad to see someone gets this. Of course our small group cannot single-handedly force change at Yahoo Search Marketing, but that's not the point. The point as alluded to in the above quote centers around the fact that most of us are "power users" of these products and services and the issues we find are most likely issues being experienced across the entire customer base. The difference is, small as it may be, we have a forum to discuss it.
Quote:
I do understand that if you don't have too much money riding on the bigs then these issues can be brushed aside, some of us are not in that situation. These shortcomings mean majors dollars leaking out of our profit margins every day.
This is so very true. If Yahoo! takes a look at our account, they will notice that over the last few months we have abandoned them for many campaigns and our spend as been reduced considerably. This is in reaction to Yahoo's lack of attention regarding DTC. We leave staple, must-have campaigns at Yahoo but participate in no keyword experimentation. Account management is just too much of a time-consuming bear especially when you can create a test campaign at Google in 3 seconds and garner some results before your Y! campaign even goes live. ...and don't even get me started on the fact of having to use two poor Y! products (Optimizer and DTC) to manage one account properly.

Again, where is Yahoo! on this? Where is YahooSarah? I wouldn't expect them to reply if they didn't have a rep assigned to this forum, but they do ...so what's the deal YahooSarah - are we being heard?

Last edited by sebastian : 02-01-2006 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 02-01-2006   #10
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well here it is again the first of a month and I am afraid to run my Yahoo reports yet, fearing the data will be updated tonight or tomorrow. Would be great if I could count on the data not changing, or at least be 99% sure instead of 99% sure it will...
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Old 02-07-2006   #11
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I bet one of two things is happening:
1) Y! really is content being #2 and Overture system will not change.
2) Y! realizes Overture system does not scale and has decided to start over from scratch.

Point is, I'm betting on an all or nothing approach from them. I think this is why we haven't seen anything. Personally, my biggest gripe with Y! is that Overture is so bloody slow.
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Old 02-08-2006   #12
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Talking Oooh - this has turned into another passionate thread

I like the points you make ApogeeWebLLC - and i am inclined to think that they are just happy, sorry 'content' to be No:2... in this area.

It is a pity - because what they have here in a couple of threads is gold dust to many other companies in terms of usability research - we've saved them a lot of research money and still they don't even respond to this thread!!

Sportsguy, i am sorry, but i disagree when you say that we are too small a group of people for them to notice. Size doesn't really play as big a part in it, as is how influential this group of people is. SEW is very influential in our business, hence Y! would do well not to ignore the opinions here for too long.

Anyway, i think Y! can take people like Sebastian on board and use them to enhance their product. Good thread Sebastian!
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Old 02-08-2006   #13
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rozovichak,

I hear what you're saying, and respect your POV, but I'll maintain my point:

In the overall picture of things, we, those who manage accounts for a living - large number of keyword lists, etc., are in the minority of users Yahoo deals with.

It comes down to this, IMO:

Given that there are so many, and only a relatively small % complain, there's no impetus to get on top of concerns quickly.

Do we, "the pros" matter - heck yeah! I have a Gold level account right now (used to have a coulpe Plats to mainatin a couple years back) whihc we are growing. I wish things wer easier.

I just don't see any return in getting huffed about it all - my getting upset will accomplish exactly zero to change things.

I several thousand others all got up-in-arms at the same time, however, I'd join the throng to move for changes.

Until then, I work with what I have and get my job done.
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Old 02-09-2006   #14
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Oh, we all have to keep working with what we have, but i strongly believe that if we all sat back and waited for "several thousand others" to complain first, then nothing will ever progress...

Don't get me wrong, however, i have no illusions of grandeur , and i am not fooling myself that i am extremely important, but i need to speak up my mind when it comes to things that are obvious, important - and very frequently frustrating. As Sebastian said - there are so many tiny fixes they can implement in a week that will make us very happy... even if it is only for a few days

But, on the positive side, their Search Optimiser tool seems to be doing a good job...
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Old 02-09-2006   #15
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Again we stray from the point

Again, please, the point is not about whether or not we are large enough advertisers or whether or not we have "pull" in the industry.

None of that matters. Here is what matters:

The points we made to Y! are valid, well-known and easily demonstrated. There is nothing ambiguous about it as we clearly outlined over 50 flaws that would help us manage our campaigns better using the service.

That's what matters. We did the leg-work. We offered the information to Y!. We asked for attention to these issues so that we could get the most bang for our buck.

...and we are getting ignored.
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Old 02-09-2006   #16
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Hey everyone,

I know its been a while since Ive posted, but I want to reassure you that we are listening and hear you loud and clear. Our teams are working very hard to upgrade our systems to address many of the concerns youve raised, so I wanted to respond to this thread when I could provide more specific detail. As some of you have pointed out, major platform enhancements don't happen overnight, so while you are eager to see changes, please know that we are just as eager to introduce those changes.

For now, all I can say is thanks for your continued business and helpful feedback. We care very much about your experience with us and are working toward an easier, better-performing solution for you. Ill provide you with a progress update as soon as we can communicate more specifics. In the meantime, Ill be on these boards regularly to answer the questions I can answer and pass your comments on to the appropriate people.

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Old 02-10-2006   #17
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Great post Yahoo Sarah. You explicitly stated that you have been waiting to post till you could give us specific details. Then, you proceded to give zero details. Please see Post #2 above.
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Old 02-10-2006   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian
Again, where is Yahoo! on this? Where is YahooSarah? I wouldn't expect them to reply if they didn't have a rep assigned to this forum, but they do ...so what's the deal YahooSarah - are we being heard?
Hi JBL,

Sorry if my post wasn't clear. My point was, I have not responded to the recent posts on this thread because I wanted to wait until we were able to provide more detail publicly about the interface changes we mentioned several months ago. I know that you'd all really like specifics, and that's what I want to give you.

That said, others on this thread have wondered where I am, so in the absence of more detail, I decided to chime in yesterday just to let you know that yes, I'm here and I'm listening. We're all listening. This thread in particular is high up on our radar screens, and we're working very hard to remedy the pain points you've raised and incorporate your suggestions into the enhancements we're building. It just takes time. We want to get this right.

Contrary to what was suggested in post #2, I know that we're actually NOT telling you what you want to hear right now. But we're being honest with you when we say that changes are well in the works, and that we'll provide a more thorough update as soon as we speak more publicly about this.


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Old 02-10-2006   #19
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Rumor Mill

To further/confirm YahooSara's post, I've heard from various sources within Yahoo that we can expect some DTC changes, and these will be semi-significant, sometime during the summer, possibly more near the end of the summer.

I will also state that it appears Yahoo has been listening, based on a couple features I have heard about. When Yahoo is ready to publicize it, I think most of us will be happy.

I don't work for Yahoo, so take this as you will!
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Old 02-10-2006   #20
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Yahoo Sarah,

Please excuse my frustration. I find Yahoo a difficult company to do business with. On one hand, you accept my 50-60K a year for PPC. On the organic hand, you won't even dilete urls from your index that have not been on my site for over 3 years or respect my 301s. As an ex-newspaper adv exec, I certainly understand that being a paying customer does not mean I should get any preferential treatment. I wouldn't respect you if you gave it to me. However, it should get me equal treatment with non-customers. Frankly, I'm not at all concerned with how great you're going to treat me. All I can see from here is today and yesterday.
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