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May 14, 2007

Go Ga Ga For Google Or Yell About Yahoo?

Search engine marketing is about words. Pure and simple. It’s about putting the right words in front of the right people. The twist in the tail is how you find those right people. Combining SEO with an efficient pay per click campaign is one way to go. But how do you navigate the search marketing waters and choose the correct platform for your pay per click budget?
Deciding between Google and Yahoo as your search host of choice is a critical business decision. As Google snap up business after business in a bid to expand their services portfolio, it can seem like a no brainer. But Yahoo has much to offer, not least of which are strong conversion rates and a more competitive cost per click…

Partner Networks
While Google bristles with enough features, advances and new additions to make a NASA spaceship feel retro, Yahoo has concentrated on expanding its partner network. Google rightly claims that it is the global search engine of choice but Yahoo’s investment in its new Panama platform and extensive affiliate structure is slaying many with its charm. Profits are up, conversions are up and advertiser numbers are increasing. Yahoo is using this networking to generate around 5.7 million targeted leads every month, leads which they say are more than likely to convert into cold, hold sales cash.
Advert Submission
Although the user interface can be a daunting prospect for the uninitiated, Google’s submission procedure does offer one considerable advantage; speed of use. Advert submission is instant, putting a new or revised pay per click advert online immediately providing simple guidelines are adhered to. Little if any forward planning is required on the part of the advertiser to introduce new campaigns and special offers. Similarly, pausing discontinued products or oversubscribed services is also the work of minutes, giving pay per click advertisers the highest level of control over their internet presence.
Unfortunately for Yahoo, Panama pay per click is susceptible to editorial backlogs, delaying keyword approval by anything up to a couple of days. Changing an existing advert is also subject to a time delay, again postponing the effectiveness of the campaign. However, users do enjoy greater leeway in terms of advert length – used wisely the increased character permit is a useful marketing tool.
Bidding
It’s all change on the bidding front at Yahoo with Panama following the Google example and doing away with transparent bidding. Where once you could see rival bids and buy your desired position accordingly, blind bidding has shifted the emphasis to quality campaign infrastructure.
The process is more complicated still on Google as their non-transparent system factors in external factors such as keyword and advert relevance, campaign history and the holy grail of Google AdWords, the account quality score.
Reports
AdWords counts a user-friendly reporting procedure amongst its plus points, giving account holders automated feedback on campaign performance. The perceived value of keywords, click through rates and impression counts are available for client perusal on a regular basis. Yahoo is yet to jump on the automated report bandwagon, although reports can be created manually to analyse account performance.
Payments
Yahoo operates a pre-pay system as standard as part of their payment terms. When you set a daily budget, a whole month’s worth of advertising is taken in advance from your bank account. In contrast, Google spreads the cost, using a credit limit to take payments over an interim period.

Author:  Daniel Jupp is the founder and managing director of pay per click consultancy, Top Position. For more information and to request a free 30 day management trial, visit www.topposition.co.uk

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