Posted January 15, 2010 6:51 am by with 6 comments

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I just scanned the last six posts here at MP and they all have the Google logo attached to them. What’s strange about this story is that while Yahoo is announcing an improvement in their paid search offering it still relates to Google. As for bing? Where are you? The company that is having their search platform replaced by you is making more noise.

So what has Yahoo done? It has created an easy way for users of the Yahoo paid search platform to import data from their Google Adwords campaigns. In other words, Yahoo is saying “We know how much you use Google Adwords so just ‘copy and paste’ it to us and spend with us. Please!” MediaPost reports on this and let’s us hear Yahoo’s version.

Despite the agreement with Microsoft to power the search engine’s backend infrastructure, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo continues to invest in advertising and consumer search tools. This time the company is releasing Network Distribution, and Import Campaigns.

David Pann, vice president and general manager of Yahoo Search Advertising, tells Online Media Daily that Yahoo’s investment in targeting tools provides another option for advertisers to reach consumers — an alternative to Google AdWords. So the hope is that these tools will end up in Microsoft’s search platform and adCenter.

Boy, if that doesn’t sound like someone who has simply decided to bow to the superiority of Google’s offering and settle for the crumbs from its table. By saying that Yahoo’s Search Advertising provides another option (read: something other than Google AdWords) it sounds like Mr. Pann is trying to remind people that “Hey, we do paid search advertising too!”

While this is all well and good one has to wonder what the impact will be for Yahoo if any. The following example provided from the article tells the tale much better than I can.

One of the biggest complaints from advertisers has been the tedious process of importing online campaigns into more than one search platform. Each engine relies on different types of files and formats. Many advertisers such as Brad Butler, chief operating officer at Asadart Ecommerce Specialty Shops, begin their campaigns on Google, simply because AdWords has been easier to understand and use.

“Nice idea, but at the end of the day I want results,” were the first words out of Butler’s mouth after hearing about the new features.

Butler runs several online stores. “It’s like putting lipstick on a pig,” he says. “It’s a good idea, but I remember talking to my rep about it a few years ago. Hey, guys, you’re three years late to the party.”

I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but I can smell a “So what?!” response from a mile away. How about we let Mr. Butler put it in even clearer business English, the one that involves dollar signs.

Butler’s Yahoo account reps used to import AdWords files for him. The rep would come back a week later after completing the job. It just took too long, he says. That’s one reason that last year, Butler spent about $50,000 with Yahoo, compared with $1.2 million with Google.

I have to guess that Mr. Butler won’t be moving a lot of that spend over to Yahoo but that’s just me. Well, while I am glad that at least someone else is trying to do something in the search space I hope that there might be a little more innovation and less playing catch up in the future.

Search advertisers weigh in on this and just how much you use other paid search options outside of Google. The world needs to see if there is a pulse on the industry outside of the Googleplex.

  • I’m shocked it took this long. They should have done this years ago. Perhaps there were technical or legal issues…

  • Yahoo also needs to allow for dynamic creation of tracking urls. A good number of folks that use AdWords use Google Analytics as well. This way Search Managers can spend time in Yahoo optimizing the campaigns instead of importing and tagging the campaigns.
    .-= Hershel Miller´s last blog ..Wisconsin Property Taxes Set to Rise 4.2% =-.

  • This was long overdue. Lets face it. Adwords was the preferred choice for most advertisers but this step will definitely bridge the yawning gap and also give an opportunity for search marketers to bring about better data driven comparative analysis and reporting.
    .-= Jayadeep Rath´s last blog ..jaytweeter: Yahoo adds feature to import google adwords campaigns : =-.

  • I wouldn’t call it Yahoo admitting defeat, but they are admitting where the money is at.
    .-= adsense alternatives´s last blog ..eBay Declared ‘09 Mobile Retailer Of The Year =-.

  • Ross

    This is all well and good, and the feature has actually been around for a while, but it doesn’t really work when we get down to the nitty gritty. When importing a campaign from Google into Yahoo! from scratch it is certainly easier now than it has ever been. The problems start here: I normally start my campaigns off in Google, I let them mature slightly and then at a later date I duplicate that campaign into Yahoo. Easy, but I still make any updates (normally ad text updates) in Google. Ad text updates happen a lot, especially with my e commerce clients where prices are always changing. When I then try to update my campaign using the same method as before but using the “merge campaign” feature I will be presented with a whole error file asking me for ad group ID’s. The only way to overcome this is by downloading the Yahoo! campaign, comparing it with the newly converted file and writing a vlookup function to find the ad group Id’s, keyword id’s, and campaign ID’s. Unofortunately, the volume of traffic on Yahoo! compared with the hassle of simply trying to update a campaign that already exists on both Google and Yahoo is making me think that it’s no longer worth advertising. Time could be better spent optimising my Google campaigns. In this day and age, im sure a company with as many resources as Yahoo! have access to can create a simple data migration program that can do what the everyday user needs.

  • Alexander Anderson

    Hello, I have an Activated Google Adwords account with $850 USD balance for you to Market/advertise your product on to any country of your target in the world. Prize: $250 per one account. Method of Payment: Liberty reserve, Western Union or Money Gram. Any quantity Available.

    Email: or ICQ: 272974395, Skype: alexandu10