Earlier today I received an email from Yahoo! detailing Yahoo Search Marketing‘s (YSM) features for the new version of their paid search program.
Chief among them, at least for Canadian advertisers, is the addition of geo-targeting. It seems as though we may soon be able to capture a somewhat broader audience from search. In case you missed it, Microsoft AdCenter also went live with geo-targeting last week, which means that we will soon have a new paid search landscape in Canada, with all three major players offering a method to reach out to Canadian searchers.
Another major change, perhaps the most significant one for advertisers who are already doing business with YSM, is that they are now moving to a model where ad performance and quality will be rewarded. It will no longer be possible to bid for position, because ads will now be positioned as a function of bid and clickthrough rate. This is the end of an era. No longer do advertisers need to login to their accounts constantly to verify that they are still in their favorite position for their important listings. I know many of the most aggressive search marketers out there will suffer from this change, but I feel it will make the product more accessible to the mass of search marketers who did not understand how to manipulate YSM’s “features” to dominate the results.
Other significant changes will include:
* Instant ad activation (the current wait period is approximately 48 hours)
* Listings will be regrouped into campaigns
* Individual campaigns will be manageable with budgets, forecasting and scheduling
* Ability to test multiple versions of an ad to find the message with the best performance
YSM’s new sponsored search is scheduled for Fall 2006.