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State of the Search Industry: Yahoo/Bing Transition

Posted on by Mike Poserina in Bing, Engine Ready, Engine Ready News, Online Marketing, Yahoo Search Marketing

You may notice when you log into some/all of your Yahoo accounts today 9/2/2010, you will have a notification screen which informs you to link your Yahoo! account and your adCenter account.

Against all odds, Yahoo and Microsoft appear to be on Schedule for the final integration into the AdCenter run Search Alliance. Let’s take a look at what’s involved:

You will be required to agree to selecting a check-box which states:

“(Required) By selecting this checkbox, I agree to allow Yahoo! to disclose all of my information (including my contact information, billing and payment information and credit card number, and account information) and transfer any remaining account balance to Microsoft for the purpose of Microsoft providing me with search advertising services.”

You will be given an option to select the check-box which states:

“(Optional) By selecting this checkbox, I authorize Yahoo! to copy to Microsoft adCenter any of my analytics data that has been or may be collected via Yahoo! Code on my website. If using Yahoo! Code on my website, I agree to update my privacy policy to notify my visitors that anonymous data may be collected by both Yahoo! and Microsoft.”

Once you continue by selecting the button at the bottom of the page, you will be brought to a Microsoft AdCenter login page. From here you will either log into your current AdCenter Account or Create a new one from scratch. At this point Yahoo will begin parsing your campaign data into MSN.

Compatibility Alerts:

MSN will ask you if they should increase low bids to AdCenters minimum Bid and if you want to continue to serve Canada ads.

Compatibility Check:

When the system finishes parsing your Yahoo campaign structure in Adcenter you will be presented with a number of compatibility issues which were found. <Remember: Yahoo”s keywords and Ads follow a completely different set of rules than AdWords and AdCenter. Headlines in ads can be greater than 25 characters and they have only 1 description line. Yahoo also runs with Standard and Advanced match keywords as opposed to Broad/Phrase/Exact.

You now have 3 options:

  1. Fix Issues and Import:You will be shown your account structure with tabs for each settings/keywords/ads/etc. Red outlines will show where attention is needed. When completed, your Yahoo account will be 100% compatible with AdCenter.
  2. Import only compatible data:If there is a compatibility issue between the Yahoo and Ad Center structure then ignore it. Upload anything that doesn’t need changing.
  3. Import all data later:You may want to select this option if you want to import your account structure from AdWords which is nearly 95% similar to AdCenter and would require only minimal campaign settings adjustments. It will save a copy of your Yahoo account to a csv file.

From here you are brought to screen which says: Transfer your Yahoo! Search Marketing accounts to Microsoft adCenter and a drop-down box which will allow you to select the adCenter account under the login you used to transfer to. The problem here is that AdCenter Will Not let me continue. After testing with 3 accounts the process gets derailed here. We are currently waiting on a response from the AdCenter team but we suspect that take some time with all of the questions advertisers are going to have.

I know the first thing that entered my mind when I read transfer any remaining account balance to Microsoft for the purpose of Microsoft was: Does this mean that Yahoo is finished as of today? Absolutely not. You need to continue advertising in Yahoo!. When exactly the funds from Yahoo! will be transferred is still vague though and another question we are waiting on.

3) Continue to manage your Yahoo! Search Marketing account
The last stage in the transition process will occur when Yahoo! Search ad serving moves to adCenter, which we expect to begin in mid-October and be completed by the end of October. During this period, you should expect traffic from your Yahoo! Search Marketing account to decrease, and increase in your adCenter account. But until this process is complete, you’ll still need to actively manage your Yahoo! Search Marketing account to have your ads displayed on Yahoo! and our partner sites.

I personally am looking forward to this transition as management will become a bit easier. I do have my concerns about the numerous advertisers who are now going to flood AdCenter. My particular concern revolves around the campaign imports. The vast majority of advertisers use Google and I see no reason anyone would go through the effort of modifying their Yahoo account when they can import their Google account in minutes. This means that instead of the low CPC bids from Yahoo being used, the Absurdly high CPC bids from Google are going to flow into AdCenter. Only time will tell if my concerns are warranted?

This week on Best Search Strategies, Clix Marketing CEO David Szetela joins in as a guest host to cover the current state of the search industry in respect to the Yahoo/Bing transition. The highly anticipated merger has left many search marketers wondering how this will affect everything in the future. So tune in this Wednesday at 2:00 PM (PST) to find out the details you should be aware of as the transition commences later this fall.

David Szetela’s topics will include:

  • How to prepare for the transition of Bing / Yahoo?
  • What is happening in the industry and how to stay ahead?
  • What bid management software is best for agencies?