It’s Halloween – the time of year where we all celebrate the macabre. Monsters, goblins, and the undead don’t usually have a lot of relevance to PPC marketing (unless you’re in the business of selling Halloween costumes), but this week I’d like to focus on one particular ghost that has finally been put in its grave: Yahoo Search Marketing.
This week, the Yahoo/Microsoft search alliance was completed, and now 100% of your paid search traffic from Yahoo will be directed to Bing PPC ads. Some of you have been unimpressed by the transition, and I’m a little underwhelmed myself. Bing search traffic is definitely up, but since the two accounts never converted at the same rate or CPA, there are bound to be some adjustments as the Yahoo search traffic floods into an MSN AdCenter account.
One thing I am very glad for is that I’ll never have to deal with YSM’s crappy user interface ever again. Account changes took forever, since you had to load multiple screens to get to any level of depth in the account. Reports were limited in data, and restricted in time frame. Even when Yahoo released their desktop editor (which I had been promised for nearly two years), it was a huge disappointment. If you were lucky enough to get the program to open without crashing, stats took forever to download and you were fortunate if your changes would actually get posted to your account. I may miss the search traffic and conversions I got out of my Yahoo accounts, but I definitely won’t miss working in them.
MSN AdCenter is a little better in the UI department, but I think they still have a long way to go. Making changes to the account is much easier than in Yahoo, and their reporting is more comprehensive and easier to use. But seriously, Microsoft – what’s up with the short time windows in reporting? I can’t do any long-term analysis on my accounts because of that. Now that you’re a big player in PPC, you’ve got to treat your power users to the data they deserve. AdCenter Desktop is a pretty neat tool, but I still find it kind of buggy. Hopefully they’ll get the kinks worked out of it and finally get it out of beta. Now that us PPC managers are going to be getting a lot more traffic in those AdCenter accounts, we’re going to need some better tools to work with.
So long, Yahoo, and good riddance. Your ad program kind of sucked, but at least you had a captive audience who preferred to use Yahoo search for some reason instead of superior search options.