Searching Beyond the Paid

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Yahoo Search Marketing Launches YSM Blog

Accompanying Yahoo's new Panama advertiser interface is their new blog, the YSM Blog. It only has 2 posts on it so far, but there are hundreds of comments from the search community. Some are the typical spammy sort, but there's a lot of good stuff there too.

Many marketers want to know why Yahoo is doing away with their pure auction method of ranking ads. I agree. I actually like the current model - you place your bid, and you get your desired position. No games with "quality score" and "landing page relevancy" and "CTR thresholds" and all that nebulous stuff. You know what you need to bid, so you bid it, or you accept a lower position. Simple, and it leads to consistent results week after week. If it ain't broke, why fix it?

There were several comments regarding click fraud, as well, including one from my pal Discovery from the Search Engine Watch forums. Indeed, click fraud from Yahoo's content and search network is a huge problem - bigger, in my opinion, than with Google. At a minimum, they need to allow site exclusion. This isn't part of Panama, though; at least so far.

A few people applauded the geo-targeting options. Here here. We can only sell to the US, yet we get hundreds of clicks every month from Canada via Yahoo. So, we're paying for nothing. I can't wait to exclude Canada!

Finally, there was more than one comment stating that a blog isn't really the best way to communicate. I agree - especially since the Panama announcement came almost 2 weeks ago, and they've only got 2 posts on their blog. A high-profile program like Yahoo's should have daily posts, at a minimum - not a measly 2 in 2+ weeks. And the two posts are pretty much corporate hype and PR, if you ask me. There's very little meat there. They've already gotten enough comments to give them fodder for 100 blog posts - why aren't they posting? It's one of the cardinal sins of a corporate blog - don't put it out there and hype it to your customers and then let it stagnate!

I do appreciate what Yahoo is trying to do. I really do. I'm just surprised at how unprepared they seem to be - they haven't paid much attention to their competition, which is just crazy. Instead of a lame blog, they should have put a "YSM Rep" or "Yahoo Guy" or whatever on the forums, right away, and had him/her spend 90% of their time responding to posts. And don't get me started on how poor a job they've done monitoring their competitor's PPC interfaces!

2 Comments:

  • I agree, two posts in two weeks, wow! Oh, here's another "Getting the most out of our relationship through the blog." Here they basically preach to their readers with comments like - many questions could be answered through FAQs, Help Center, or customer solutions. In other words, "whatever you're looking for, don't come around here no more".

    Hey Yahoo, don't you think I looked at those areas and couldn't find the answers to my question and thought it was wonderful to have a blog where a real person might see my question and provide me a personal answer. A blog were I'll feel like a human being and guess what, keep coming back for more engagement and tell my friends how wonderful you are. Huh, did you ever think about that?

    Finally they add the "Rules of Engagement" where they explain why they deleted 4 items for spam and violation of terms of services. Guess what Yahoo, do you think these guys care about your Terms of Service? I doubt it. Get you head out of your Yahoo and start engaging your users and build a loyal community or shut down your blog and go home.

    By Blogger SEM Certification, at 2:15 PM EST  

  • Yep, exactly. Yahoo's "Help Center" in the old Direct Traffic Center is a joke. That's why so many people are posting questions on the blog!

    By Blogger Melissa, at 2:21 PM EST  

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