Searching Beyond the Paid

Thursday, September 06, 2007

YSM Custom Reports

Yesterday, I was catching up on my news and blog feeds after last week's vacation, and I ran across a brief blurb in the YSM Blog about their "new custom reports." It's at the end of this post.

Well, needless to say, I was very excited to hear that Yahoo had finally gotten on the custom report bandwagon. The lack of any kind of custom reporting has been one of the big failings of the new Panama interface. Alas, however, my enthusiasm was severely dampened when I logged in to my account to set up custom reports.

As a matter of fact, I'm not sure I'd even call the new features "custom reporting." "Enhanced," maybe, but not custom. You're still stuck with the 8 pre-built reports - there's no way to add or delete columns to create a truly custom report. So, if you're like me and currently have to run two or three different reports, upload them to Access, and run a query to get the data you need, well, you'll still have to do that. The only real enhancement is that now you can save your report configuration. For example, if you always want to look at daily performance for the past 30 days, you can save a report that will do that, instead of having to manually select that date range every time you run the report. This is nice, but certainly not earth-shattering.

Custom reporting is one area where Google just kicks their competitors' collective back sides right out of the park. Not only do you have almost total control over what data appears in your Google reports, but you can use parameters such as "only keywords with greater than 100 clicks" and things like that. You can run reports for only Active ads. You can set a specific start day for the week, such as "the week starting last Wednesday." This particular feature is huge for me, because our fiscal weeks start on Wednesdays. With Google, I just set up a recurring report that runs for Wednesday through Tuesday, and I'm good to go. With the rest, I have to manually put in the actual dates. It wastes valuable time, especially when I'm running the same report week after week.

I'm glad Yahoo has made the improvements they did, but for those of us who are used to Google's Custom Reports, Yahoo still has a long, long way to go.

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