Searching Beyond the Paid

Thursday, July 17, 2008

YSM Minimum Bids - A Usability Nightmare

Not long ago, Yahoo implemented minimum bids based on Quality Score, a la Google Adwords. The good thing about Yahoo's system is that they warn you ahead of time when keyword minimum bids are increasing, and they actually give you time to make adjustments (unlike Google). Yahoo also has a section within the YSM interface where you can edit your CPCs on these keywords all in one place. It's great.

Except for one thing - that section sucks, usability-wise. I recently had a client with several minimum bid updates that needed to be made - like, a few pages' worth. I followed the handy link from the client's account Dashboard to the page to edit the bids. I wanted to update some, but not all, of the keywords on the first page to the required minimum. So, I used the radio buttons near the middle of the page, and hit Save Changes. The page refreshed, and voila! Wait. None of my changes were reflected on the page! OK, I thought - I guess I have to use the check boxes on the left-hand side. Checked the ones I wanted to update and hit "set keyword bids to minimum." OK, great. Went to page 2, did the same thing, went to page 3, and so on. Hit "save changes" when I was all done. Whoops - now only the last page of changes were made! Everything else was lost in the shuffle.

By this time I've spent 30 minutes and have gotten nowhere. I finally realized that I needed to (1) expand the number of results on the page so I could see ALL the keywords at once; (2) I needed to use the dang check boxes to set bids to minimum and (3) I needed to save changes before moving on to something else.

It took me close to an hour to do something that should have taken 5 minutes with a more user-friendly page. Don't get me wrong - I'm glad Yahoo has this feature. They just need to make it a little more intuitive and/or add some instructions to the page!



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