As a PPC Specialist I am always astounded at the relatively large drop-off that exists between Google AdWords and Yahoo! Sponsored Search. Google has that “new car” feel with so many options and tools to make the driving experience that much better while Yahoo! has that “1970s car feel”. It works but it doesn’t have the same power or amount of options that the new car has….until now.

When I first looked at the email from Yahoo! advertising regarding an improvement in campaign and Sponsored Search options, one thought came to mind: “It’s About Time!”

Although the email is lacking punch in terms of specific information pertaining to the improvements, it does offer insight into what exactly Yahoo! is doing and also provides an opportunity for current Sponsored Search accounts to attend a free webinar outlining these new tools and how to maximize their potential.

In a few weeks, Yahoo! advertising will be joining Google in providing Ad Scheduling functionality. In essence, this option (commonly known as “day parting”) allows the account holder to determine when he or she wants ads to run and at what percentage of their keyword level bids. For example, I can now limit an ad for “blue widgets” to only run on Monday and Friday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and again at 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm because I have found these to be the days/times that offer the greatest potential of producing conversions (or any other metric you or your client deem as a top priority).

In addition, if I don’t want to suspend ads for the rest of the week (where it is not as profitable) I can simply reduce the cost percentage at which ads run. For example, the keyword “large blue widgets” has a keyword bid of $1.00. If Tuesday from 3:00pm to 4:00pm is one of the less profitable time periods of the week, I can reduce the bid cost by 50% so that the keyword only runs at a bid of $0.50.** The ad still runs during this time period because there is always a chance a conversion could occur, but it decreases potential costs. Also, you don’t have to continually go back and forth changing keyword bids to reduce costs like you would (I hope no one actually does) if this functionality was not available. This option has been offered in Google for awhile now, so I guess it was only a matter of time until Yahoo! Sponsored Search realized the potential opportunities in improving performance and increasing efficiency this functionality provides users.

In addition to this major improvement, Yahoo! will also be rolling out the red carpet for other enhancements that include demographic bidding, upgraded geo-targeting, and other bidding improvements.

Although I am unsure of what all these improvements encompass at this time, I will be able to provide more information and analysis after attending the webinar on March 19th.

Check back here after March 19th and see if these Yahoo! advertising improvements make me take back my “It’s About Time!” statement and replace it with either “What Were They Thinking?!” or a pat on Yahoo!’s back for getting this one right.

** Please note that you cannot (as far I am aware) do this for individual keywords, but rather only at the campaign level. This example is used just as a demonstration of how it works.

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 12, 2009 and is filed under Pay-Per-Click.

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