Wednesday, February 14, 2007

10 Things I hate about Yahoo Advertising

1. Only 10% of my search traffic comes from Yahoo. I know Yahoo has a larger market share in search than 10%, but most of my advertising is done for very technical terms and Yahoo represents a very un-technical audience.

2. You can't easily (or at all) opt out of sites in their search network. Yahoo's "search" network includes arbitrage sites which really should be included in their content network. I've complained about this at the very highest ranks of their advertising group and the best response I've received is "this is something we're looking at".

3. You can't open up campaigns, ad groups, or keyword settings in new tabs. I love being able to go into Google and open up multiple adgroups in new tabs in Firefox. This is a great way to quickly make tweaks on problem adgroups. Thanks to Yahoo's Flash based interface this isn't an option.

4. As I write this my Yahoo login page isn't loading.

5. Load times in general are very slow. Again, this is largely in part to the Flash based interface.

6. Editorial hypocrisy. When I change one word in an ad or a bid on a specific keyword the editorial team rejects the ad or keyword even though it has been running for months or even years. If an ad or keyword was good before why reject it now?

7. Editing your campaigns through spreadsheets is a pain. Google has given us a nice tool in the Google Adwords Editor where we can easily paste in cells from a spreadsheet to update things like ads, adgroups, campaigns, and keywords. Generally there are no more than 6 or 7 rows needed to update any element. In Yahoo, I have to enter 30 rows of information for every element. I also have to make sure I upload the spreadsheet in a specific format. No easy cut and paste here.

8. Cost per conversions are too high. The traffic I get from Yahoo is mostly trash. I'm not sure if it's their user demographics, click fraud, or what, but it's much harder to get good ROI from Yahoo for me.

9. Yahoo only supports Advanced and Standard key phrase matching. I like having three options for keyword bidding with Google (phrase, broad, and exact matching). I don't like the all or nothing approach with Yahoo. I'm sure this approach is good for their bottom line, but it seems like it takes a lot of bid control out of the hand of the advertiser.

10. Lack of response to common problems. I'm involved with roughly 6 betas at Google right now. Every time I have an issue with Google I complain, my account rep takes note, and eventually I get included in a beta to address the problem. Yahoo's biggest achievement recently has been supporting multiple ads per adgroup and algorithmic based PPC ranking. This is something that's been available through their competitors for a long time now and really should be a standard part of a search marketing network. I have yet to participate in a beta or see a release from Yahoo which I felt raised the bar.

What's your biggest Yahoo advertising gripe?

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