Archive for the ‘Yahoo’ Category

Microsoft+Yahoo+Twitter = Microhooter! to the Rescue?

March 4, 2009

While thinking about commenting on another blog regarding all the blather about how this company or that company will kill Google and its lead in the search space, I believe I stumbled upon the perfect Google killer: Microhooter!

Combined or by reputation alone couldn’t Microsoft’s desktop monopoly, Yahoo’s display ad business and Twitter’s mass texting be enough to derail Google’s money making search engine?

Maybe in theory but not in practice.

No, not even Microhooter! will save the day.

The search audience is an army of one – one billion people online that is – an army which will continue to march where it can find and get the answers it needs when and where they are needed.

With or without a Microhooter, for the time being and for the foreseeable future that place will remain Google.

You can go back to work now.

Interview with Dr. Qi Lu; President, Microsoft Online Services Group

December 11, 2008

Microsoft’s PressPass recently interviewed Dr. Qi Lu, the new President of Microsoft’s Online Service Group about his plans for taking Microsoft’s search products to the next level.

Microsoft Dr. Qi Lu

Microsoft Dr. Qi Lu

Source – Microsoft PressPass

Prior to joining Microsoft, Dr. Lu was executive vice president of Engineering for the Search and Advertising Technology Group at Yahoo. Prior to his 10 years at Yahoo, Lu was a Research Staff Member at IBM’s Almaden Research Center. He also has worked at Carnegie Mellon University as a Research Associate and at Fudan University in China as a faculty member. Lu holds 20 U.S. patents, and received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in computer science from Fudan University in Shanghai, and his Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Excerpts from Microsoft’s PressPass interview with Dr. Lu:

PressPass: Where do you see the opportunities for Microsoft in the search and online space?

Lu: First, I think there is a genuine opportunity to take our search products to the next level. I see that Microsoft’s search product quality is improving at a very, very fast rate, that there are great foundations there. And with the technology base, the talent base, the computing infrastructures, I’m confident that we will be in a position to produce a differentiated and compelling search experience.

The second opportunity is to continue building a very powerful advertising platform. Microsoft has made a series of strategic acquisitions, and also built a bunch of internal technologies and products. The key is to put all those assets together to build powerful, highly scalable advertising platforms. The advertising we see today will be very different in the future because of new platforms for it. Ads will be truly relevant and useful, and the experience will be compelling.

PressPass: Whenever anyone talks about competition in search, the target always is Google. Are they catchable?

Lu: Well, we’re here to win, and my view on this is that to win in the search space, fundamentally you build on the strengths of your product. And we know what it takes to build a compelling user experience and winning product, which is to have a powerful infrastructure, great talent and put great processes in place so that we can out-develop, out-market, out-innovate our competitors.

But make no mistake; I think Google is a very, very powerful company. They are definitely ahead in the search space. There are a lot of challenges ahead. We’ve got our work cut out for us.

It will be interesting to see in which direction Microsoft heads with ex-Yahoo Dr. Lu at the Microsoft search helm.

Will Microsoft resume talks to acquire Yahoo’s search business?

Will Microsoft continue developing their own search product?

Or – will Microsoft now attempt to accomplish both (buy Yahoo’s search business and migrate Yahoo search advertisers to adCenter while attempting to improve Microsoft’s search and advertising products) in their quest to catch Google?

Yahoo Searching for New CEO; Jerry Yang Stepping Down

November 17, 2008

As first reported by Kara Swisher at Boomtown:

To: all yahoos
Fr: Jerry
Subject: update

yahoos –

i wanted to address all of you on the news we’ve just announced. the board of directors and I have agreed to initiate a succession process for the ceo role of yahoo!. roy bostock, our chairman of the board, is leading the effort to identify and assess potential candidates for consideration by the full board. the board will be evaluating and considering both internal and external candidates and has retained heidrick and struggles to help in this effort.

i will be participating in the search for my successor, and i will continue as ceo until the board selects a new ceo. once a successor is named, i will return to my previous role as chief yahoo and continue to serve as a director on the board.

last june, i accepted the board’s request that i assume the ceo role to restructure and reposition the company as a whole in order to more effectively meet the fast-changing needs of both users and partners. since taking on the ceo role, i have had an ongoing dialogue with the board about succession timing. thanks in large measure to your tireless efforts, we have created a more open, competitive yahoo! and we believe the time is now right to transition to a new ceo who can take the company to the next level.

despite the external environment we face, the fact remains that yahoo! is now a significantly different company that is stronger in many ways than it was just 18 months ago. this only makes it all the more essential that we manage this opportunity to leverage the progress up to this point as effectively as possible. i strongly believe that having transformed our platform and better aligned costs and revenues, we have a unique window for the right ceo to take ownership over the next wave of mission-critical decisions facing the company.

all of you know that I have always, and will always bleed purple. i will always do what I think is right for this great company. while this step will be an adjustment for all of us, i know it’s the right one. i look forward to updating you on this process as soon as the board has developments to share, and will continue to do everything i can to make yahoo! fulfill its full potential.

thank you,
jerry

and Microsoft Wanted To Buy Yahoo’s Search Business…

November 13, 2008

I have recently had some issues with a client’s account in Microsoft’s adCenter.

When Microsoft first launched adCenter – their search advertising system, I signed up and called in for some reason and realized at the time “customer support” was being handled by a call center.

During my call, I asked the CSR if they were an employee of Microsoft and she replied she wasn’t.

I thought maybe they had outsourced customer support initially because they were just launching their service.

I hadn’t called them since.

Yesterday I called in to investigate why my client’s ads were not being displayed under search queries for their brand name.

After a series of questions about the account from the adCenter customer support representative, I told her all I did was load two new text ads – over a week ago.

The entire account hasn’t generated any impressions let alone clicks since.

I then heard some additional voices on my call at which point I asked “is this call being monitored?”

She said “all calls may be monitored.”

I then asked are you in a call center offsite? Yes.

Are you a Microsoft employee? No.

If you have some free time on your hands, call adCenter’s customer support telephone number to discuss the nuances of pay per click advertising with “Microsoft’s” “customer support” staff.

You might be glad Microsoft hasn’t bought Yahoo’s search marketing business.

Microsoft adCenter Customer Support Telephone Number

Microsoft adCenter Customer Support Telephone Number

Final 2008 U.S. Presidential Electoral Map

November 5, 2008

Here are the nearly final 2008 U.S. Presidential Election results from Yahoo and Real Clear Politics:

U.S. Presidential Election Results

U.S. Presidential Election Results

Barack Obama is set to become the 44th President of the United States with 349 Electoral Votes compared to John McCain’s 147+ electoral votes.

Update 11-07-08:

Missouri has yet to show us what their 2008 U.S. Presidential Electoral Votes are.

2008 Final Electoral Map

2008 Final Electoral Map

Yahoo Workforce and Market De-Cap-itation

October 21, 2008

I have always found Yahoo related market news ironic when its front and center on the Yahoo Finance site – particularly when the news isn’t so good.

Yahoo Finance

Yahoo Finance

Like today’s news of Yahoo’s plans to fire 1,500 employees or 10% of their workforce just eight short months after receiving and then rejecting a $47.5 Billion dollar purchase offer from Microsoft.

At the close of business today, Yahoo’s stock market capitalization was $16.73 Billion – approximately one third Microsoft’s $47.5 Billion offer.

Yahoo Market Cap

Yahoo Market Cap

In either case, whether you were an employee who was fired – or you still own Yahoo stock – ouch!

Search Advertising Geo Targeting Options

October 3, 2008

If targeting local and mobile search advertising is the future growth drivers for search advertising providers, then Google and its Adwords geo-targeting features are in the driver’s seat when compared to its three closest search advertising rivals Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask.com.

Below I outline each providers’ offerings not according to their search advertising market share but instead according to their level of geotargeted advertising product development.

Google’s advertising product and its geo-targeting capabilities have one distinct yet obvious feature the other’s lack:

An actual map for geo-targeting the location of your ads and where they will be shown!

Google Search Advertising Country Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Country Geotargeting

With Google Adwords, advertisers can target their ads one country at a time through Google’s Country Geotargeting tab, or choose to bundle their ads for display in multiple countries at once with Adwords Bundle Geotargeting feature.

Google Search Advertising Bundle Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Bundle Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Bundle Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Metro Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Metro Geotargeting

Google Adwords advertisers who advertise in specific markets nationally or regionally can target their ads by metropolitan area or by city.

Although not referenced, Google’s metropolitan area targeting looks slightly similar to the Designated Market Area system developed by Nielsen Media Research which incorporates Nielsen’s broadcast media markets and distribution scheme.

For its City geotargeting option, Google surrounds the target city with a square.

Google Search Advertising Custom Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Custom Geotargeting

Google custom geotargeting by far provides the highest level of geotargeting available from any search advertising provider.

Custom geotargeting lets advertisers create their own custom advertising distribution area within any market.

Google search advertisers can simply point and click three or more points on their advertising map and Google does the rest for them – creating a custom advertising distribution area through latitude and longitude coordinates.

How do the other search advertising providers’ geo-targeting features stack up compared with Google’s?

Yahoo and Ask both offer advertising geo-targeting options but both to a lesser degree.

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting

Yahoo offers geotargeting to it advertisers by account market area and specific regions. Account market area is established by the advertising account holder when the open their account. Both account market area and specific region areas are organized by country, state, province or territory.

The Yahoo specific region feature geotargets its advertising through the Designated Market Areas system licensed from Nielsen Media Research.

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting Mapview

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting Mapview

Where is the Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting Map?

Yahoo offers a Map View tab of specific regions geotargeted by its advertisers yet I haven’t ever been able to view an actual Yahoo map showing where my advertising has been geo-targeted and placed.

I can’t imagine why Yahoo search marketing would place a “Map View” tab in their Campaign settings geo-targeting page yet not actually provide a map view.

Ask Search Advertising Geotargeting

Ask Search Advertising Geotargeting

Ask provides its advertisers with Location targeting which is also based on Nielsen’s Designated Market Area system.

Ask doesn’t provide a map showing advertisers locations of their geo-targeted advertising.

However, and to its credit – Ask does provide a geotargeting feature direct marketers like myself would like to see from other search advertising providers like Google Adwords – Postal Code targeting.

Postal Code Targeting or Zip Code targeting here in the US would allow direct marketers and brands alike another level of advertising targeting, delivery and thus control.
At this point you may be wondering why I chose to cover Microsoft’s adCenter search advertising geotargeting product last even though it has a larger share of the search market than Ask.

Why have I listed Microsoft’s advertising geotargeting product development last?

Because Microsoft’s search advertising product does not offer its advertisers geotargeting options let alone any other kind of geographic ad targeting.

Microsoft Search Advertising Geotargeting

Microsoft Search Advertising Geotargeting

Will Microsoft ever offer advertising geo-targeting features to its advertisers?

If not, why?

Top Search and Web Properties Query Share

September 20, 2008

comScore has released its August 2008 qSearch analysis of the the U.S. search marketplace.

According to comScore, Google core search sites continued to lead the U.S. core search market in August with 63% of the searches conducted, up from 61.9% in July.

Yahoo core search sites had the second largest amount of search traffic with 19.6%, followed by Microsoft with 8.3%, the Ask Network with 4.8% and AOL LLC with 4.3% of searches conducted.

At the top web properties where search is observed, Google web properties led with 10.2 billion searches followed by Yahoo web properties with 2.4 billion searches, Microsoft web properties with 1 billion searches and AOL LLC and it search sites with 839 million search queries.

What I found most interesting in the comScore top web properties search data was Fox Interactive’s web sites – including MySpace.com – conducted 593 millions searches compared to Ask Network’s properties 572 million searches.

July August 2008 comScore Site Search Share

July August 2008 comScore Site Search Shar

Also, according to comScore data and to my surprise, MySpace.com has even surpassed AOL’s Search Network – not including MapQuest – fielding 117 million more search queries per month than AOL search.

Even with MySpace network’s growth slowing, at some point won’t its user base and growth cause it to generate an equal and then ever increasing number of search queries per month?

At its present size and barring any significant search market disruptions, will MySpace.com eventually generate more searches per month than AOL?

Ultimately, will MySpace.com generate more search queries per month than even Microsoft’s web properties?

Yahoo! Search Marketing Console?

September 17, 2008

I was cleaning up some Yahoo Search Marketing accounts this morning and was trying to find Yahoo’s Search Submit login page.

In the past, keeping track of all their search product offerings was difficult.

Yahoo has consolidated all of their search marketing products into a drop down box on their Sponsored Search login page.

The Yahoo Search Marketing login page shows 13 different search marketing product categories:

1. Sponsored Search

2. Local Sponsored Search

3. Mobile Sponsored Search

4. Search Submit Pro

5. Search Submit Express

6. Search Submit Basic

7. Marketing Console

8. Search Optimizer

9. Product Submit

10. Travel Submit

11. Local Listings

12. Directory Submit

13. Small Business

Yahoo Marketing Console

Yahoo Marketing Console

I thought I would get reacquainted with Yahoo search marketing products so I clicked on their “Marketing Console” thinking this would somehow let me manage all of my Yahoo search marketing products in one dashboard.

Not today.

Yahoo Marketing Console 404 Not Found

Yahoo Marketing Console 404 Not Found

When I clicked on the Yahoo search marketing console I was sent to a non-existent page.

I then searched for the Yahoo search marketing console – in Yahoo – and was directed back to their sponsored search login page.

Did Yahoo have a search marketing console for managing all of their search products and I just wasn’t able to locate it?

Or, did Yahoo have a marketing console they have since abandoned?

Yahoo Search Marketing: Searching for the Smart Start Guide

September 2, 2008

I went to the Yahoo Search Marketing blog for refresher tips on how to optimize Yahoo search marketing pay per click accounts.

Their most recent blog post gave some general ideas on how to improve an ads quality index.

From the Yahoo Search Marketing blog:

“Improve your ad quality by grouping related keywords
If you group your keywords the right way (by themes, such as product or service type, or special offers) and achieve high quality, you could receive a better rank in search results and/or a lower bid.”

These tips along with many others come from Yahoo’s Smart Start Guide.

The Smart Start Guide according to Yahoo, “is a guidebook geared especially toward the beginning search marketer, but it also offers tips for the more advanced Yahoo! Search Marketing advertiser.”

The Yahoo Smart Start Guide chapters include:

  • Getting to know your Yahoo account
  • Building a foundation with strong keywords
  • Organizing ad groups for success
  • Writing effective Yahoo ads
  • Making sure your Yahoo ads are high quality
  • Matching keywords to your customers’ searches
  • Determining effective bids
  • Targeting your Yahoo ads geographically
  • Advertising on content sites other than Yahoo.com
  • Tracking your Yahoo results

The Yahoo Search Marketing blog then provides a link to download a pdf version of the Smart Start Guide.

Unfortunately numerous attempts to download the Smart Start Guide to Yahoo’s pay per click advertising system, I ended up with an unreadable pdf document.

yahoo-smart-start-guide-pdf

yahoo-smart-start-guide-pdf

I don’t know why the pdf failed, but I don’t think the download error occurred on my end.

Hopefully the Yahoo Search Marketing blog team will receive news of this blog post ping and fix their Smart Start Guide pdf download.

Otherwise, I will have to keep searching for answers to my Yahoo pay per click advertising questions elsewhere.

Update: Jeff the Yahoo Search Marketing blog editor contacted me and suggested I use Adobe Acrobat to open their Smart Start Guide which I did – successfully.

Apparently, my Apple Reader has some compatibility issues with viewing that particular Yahoo pdf.

Thanks Jeff…