Searching Beyond the Paid

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Busy Week in Search Engine Marketing

The three major search engines, Google, Yahoo, and MSN, each launched something new and exciting this week - my head's spinning with all that's going on! (Or maybe it's just the cold I think I'm coming down with....)

Probably the biggest announcement was Yahoo's surprise launch of the Panama PPC platform, or as they're calling it, "The New Sponsored Search." Official details from Yahoo can be found here, but basically, this is the much-ballyhooed new interface to replace the clunky, buggy, and outdated Direct Traffic Center (DTC) advertisers are currently stuck with. So many people are talking about this, it's impossible to link to all the blog and forum posts; but here are a couple from Search Engine Watch: Blog post, and forum discussion. Traffick also has a couple of great writeups from Andrew and Mona's visit to Yahoo headquarters, where they were lucky enough to preview the product.

Google's latest toy isn't as exciting, but it's still very cool - a Website Optimizer tool. The tool will facilitate ad copy and landing page testing in Adwords, and will help advertisers determine which version is working best for them. More information here.

Finally, MSN launched their Content Ads program. Actually, it launched over the weekend. We're participating in their beta, and so far, it's pretty cool - the ads are showing on quality content pages within MSN, and, more importantly, conversion is decent. However, I have yet to see my ads at the top of the page, like the example in the AdCenter Blog. Ours are showing up at the bottom. Still, so far, so good.

It's been a pretty exciting week so far. This is one of those times when I feel extremely lucky to be a part of this new and exciting industry!


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