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  1. #1
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    Yahoo New Sponsored Search Removing Some Bid Information
    http://www.ysmblog.com/blog/2006/11/...mation-coming/

    I think that part is actually a step backwards. Not too many people happy about this.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    I really liked Rosalind Gardner's post on this...

    http://www.netprofitstoday.com/blog/...rch-marketing/

    "Accurate?!! Whatís more accurate? Actual maximum bids or a bid range? Actual position or an Estimated Average Position?"

    I am struggling to figure this one out myself.

    Any insight that could make me possibly understand it is very much appreciated!
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  3. #3
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    I don't know, I think they want to be more like Google and MSN. I think people liked it the way they were doing it because it was different from Google and you could tell exactly where you were going to show up for your bids. With the new system you can't. And from reading around, this isn't helping Yahoo. So yet another mistake for them.

  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I see the pricing and positioning change as a HUGE improvement. A straight up auction pricing system, while much easier to forecast and control, creates an environment where the deepest pockets win. Yahoo has been a staple to big brand names and a more difficult place for smaller parties to find success. In a branding highest-bid-wins environment, even folks who desire a negative ROI can do so. Changing to quality and relevance auction system means huge disruptions for these folks because it allows MANY more parties to slice and dice things - I'd say it raises the number of viable bidders by at least a factor of 10x (and certainly provides affiliates with tons of opportunities as well). It also serves the consumer over the advertiser as well, which bodes well for Y's future.

    Little guys and medium gals should LOVE it. The big brand boys should hate it.

    Now though, as the system is migrating, and there are users on each side of the fence bidding for the same positions, it becomes impossible during the interim to maintain bidding controls and information the same as before - because the two systems are overlapping in results / output, but are based on different inputs. The only way to avoid the "interim" problem completely would be to switch everyone over instantly (not possible) or shut down the whole system for a few weeks (not feasible financially and upsetting to consumers and their click habits as well).

    They did pick a rotten time (Q4, duh!) to do this, but it's long overdue and their shareholders have paid the price. Delaying things further would mean search traffic share would continue to erode as well, and they need to stop the bleeding. So while I still criticize the Q4 timing, I do understand its necessity.

    As for the "interim" problem, change always upsets somebody - that's inevitable. But on the other side of this change is a rich opportunity for yahoo's visitors, affiliates and any other parties that are roi-focused laser-guided-scope-on-my-sniper-rifle type marketers.

    If you're a ego-driven-shotgun-marketer (muah-ha-ha, we've got rich backers and deep pockets and plan to sell our stuff to everyone searching for anything and then take over the world), you're screwed.

  5. #5
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    "I see the pricing and positioning change as a HUGE improvement."

    Most don't tho. I've been reading around and they pretty much go like:

    http://www.webmasterworld.com/yahoo_...pc/3173358.htm

    "Little guys and medium gals should LOVE it. The big brand boys should hate it"

    Usually merchants/big brand boys have deeper pockets. And usually a merchant is more relevant than an affiliate selling the merchant's product for any given search. We'll see, time will tell. But I can see your argument too. I just liked them being different and knowing what I would have to pay to show up where.

  6. #6
    Newbie compubahn's Avatar
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    As I understand it now, position will be determined by a combination of bid & CTR (relevance). This is what made G and then MSN viable for us little guys with decent CTR on their ads.

    I kinda dig it. However, I have turned off my ads there until the dust settles. I always hated Yahoo's interface. This might change that. It will certainly eliminate the need for bid management sotware.

  7. #7
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    It's also how many affiliates got hit with $10 and $15 bids. Merchants were more relevant and since they're the merchant, their landing pages are usually very relevant. If they go in that direction, that won't be good for affiliates. The other way, you knew what you had to pay and anybody willing to pay that amount could get that position.

  8. #8
    Newbie compubahn's Avatar
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    I see your point & respect your position on it.

    Here is my take. They have chosen a direction and if we wish to advertise there, we are along for the ride. With that in mind, if MY ads (which for most keywords have good positions on G & MSN) do not have a sufficient CTR to reach my desired position, the I need to improve my ad. Nobody has ever written an ad which cannot be improved.

    Eric

  9. #9
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    It's also how many affiliates got hit with $10 and $15 bids. Merchants were more relevant and since they're the merchant, their landing pages are usually very relevant. If they go in that direction, that won't be good for affiliates. The other way, you knew what you had to pay and anybody willing to pay that amount could get that position.
    G's minimum CPC has nothing to do with position control and auction style - the quality initiative at G only affects the minimum bid. I understand your point though, I'm just saying that G bidding and positioning system is not causing this pain at all - it's just the quality / relevance and minimum CPC requirements they also added. These can be present whether the pricing / auction system is G-like or Previous-Overture-Like. In fact, one of the bigggest complaints at Y, for a long time, has been getting ads approved. Overture / Yahoo has been doing it manually - blocking based on quality and relevance - for many years. G's raises your min CPC, Yahoo says disapproved.

  10. #10
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    "it's just the quality / relevance and minimum CPC requirements they also added."

    That I would have to disagree with a little. The quality and relevance aspect. Because I'm seeing that's not the case right now. For my ads that shot up to $10 a bid that were showing nicely for 10 cents. New domain, same kind of site and they're showing again. Same style of landing page and quality. For one domain, $10 a bid, the other 10 cents.

    Also as far as relevancy and quality. Most people who do PPC for profit have to have relevant pages that shoppers click thru and then buy in order to make money with PPC. It's the type of market that handles itself. Relevancy and quality might be a part of it, not sure how big. But I don't see it with my own ads and the bids they want for basically the same thing. Time will tell on all of it, see how it plays out. If it is actually better or not.

  11. #11
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    And usually a merchant is more relevant than an affiliate selling the merchant's product for any given search.
    TN1, this is an excellent point to explore for affiliates. For me, it is a prime driving reason behind new projects. As in... "what can I build into my planned website that would make it more appealing (including more relevant) to what the consumer is searching for?"

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    Little guys and medium gals should LOVE it. The big brand boys should hate it.
    I agree, but only over the long term and the result remain to be seen. Donuts is right, the move toward quality/relevance will open up the playing field considerably and give the little guy a better opportunity. My concern is exactly how it will all play out in the immediate term. My guess is that things will come out in burps and hiccups and degrade the experience for everyone until everything settles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    They did pick a rotten time (Q4, duh!) to do this, but it's long overdue...while I still criticize the Q4 timing, I do understand its necessity.
    Agreed 100% Although, one could argue that this is something that a little planning could have solved months (years?!) ago.

    It'll be interesting to see how this unfolds...

  13. #13
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    yes, it will be interesting to see how it unfolds. I've been a Yahoo! advertiser since they were goto.com.....I can tell you every year my expenses with them have doubled. I'm guessing with their new moves...they will rise again.

    I'm actually using their new interface. it's not bad. personally i feel msn is the best, followed by google. lets just say the new interface is very close to being like google; but its not there yet.

    the big thing for yahoo will be next year in jan/feb. 07 when they change their ppc algo to be more "google" like. they say they will give more 'relevant ads' better positioning which is a good move......i recommend switching over your yahoo accounts and playing around with it to get ready for this big change.

  14. #14
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    I have been with the new set up a few weeks, and while I'm not messing with it in a big way, I still like it. I don't see any sign of the Bid Range mentioned in article from the first post. I agree with Donuts that the more it moves toward Google the better I'll like it.

  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    My second post, below (yeah, bad bad, double posting...), has my response to their claims about the bid tool no longer working. But, I couldn't let these comments pass, so here's this post:

    Little guys and medium gals should LOVE it. The big brand boys should hate it.
    I utterly disagree! There's nothing to love about Google-like "Roulette wheel" pricing at all!

    Anyone who wants a FAIR system, one they can make accurate cost-benefit analysis calculations on, should prefer systems where the qualifier is CUT AND DRIED.
    Any and all "fuzzy logic" bullsh*t where you only rank if you're "in" is just that: Bullsh*t!

    Adding iffy-maybe criterion to anything is always bad for business. Anyone serious about their endeavors should know that, big or small.

    The more they move to be like Google, the more they'll suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    The quality and relevance aspect. Because I'm seeing that's not the case right now. For my ads that shot up to $10 a bid that were showing nicely for 10 cents. New domain, same kind of site and they're showing again. Same style of landing page and quality. For one domain, $10 a bid, the other 10 cents.
    I find this kind of thing absolutely indefensible. There's nothing AT ALL better about it for anyone using that system--neither advertisers (regardless of size), nor searchers.

    The very idea of Yahoo catching even a hint of that disease is lousy. I hope they get a proper bid tool back ASAP.
    Last edited by Leader; December 1st, 2006 at 11:41 PM.

  16. #16
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    All that (in my above post) said, when it comes to this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Yahoo Blog
    As advertisers begin to upgrade to the new Sponsored Search, all of their account information, including their bids, will be stored and served from an entirely new platform. So what, you say? Well, this means that, if we left things the way they are, the bids of advertisers who have upgraded would not be visible to advertisers who have not yet upgraded.
    This was indeed already happening. I bid on one term and it said I'd be #21--which should have been good for a few hits/day.
    Yet it was getting 0 hits/day. So, I went over to Yahoo.com and counted down...after several pages, I found I was around the 40th ad!
    So yeah, their bid tool is nerfed. It looks like it is actually not accounting for bids from new-platform users, just as they claim.

    But, I would much rather have had them FIX IT PROPERLY (so the bid tool shows all the bids like it ought to) rather than have this band-aid.

  17. #17
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    "Little guys and medium gals should LOVE it. The big brand boys should hate it."

    You remember we disagreed on this point, people are starting to see it:

    http://www.vinnylingham.com/2007/02/...re-panama.html

    So this move is not going to be good for affiliates. The old method I like better because you could bid and know where you stand.

  18. #18
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Vinny's post has nothing to do with how bids are ranked / priced, he's saying incorrectly, that yahoo has tightened their requirements about who can bid - they have not - they haven't changed one iota - so Vinny's complaining about a requirement that has been in place, unchanged, for years and years. Vinny should also know legitimate ways around this requirement (he does know), as do most ppc consultants, even those acting in the affiliate channel as a consultant.

    The honest "take" on Vinny's post is... "Yahoo is idiotic for not opening ads to more sources, sources the merchant can easily control". In this opinion, Vinny is 100% correct, the case is easily proved by some relatively shallow observations most ppc affiliates can make by viewing ad counts, placement, long tail terms getting chased down and more at Y versus G. Vinny is pointing out, as I have here at ABW, as many ppc'ers have, that Yahoo is hurting themselves by having these limits on third party ppc bidding - the limits are artificial and without any reasonable basis. They should have changed when Panama was rolled out.

    And you can continue to claim that Panama will be worse for affiliates than before, but this position claims that stability in cost is more important than the bottom floor of costs. As a competitor in a marketplace, your judgments are misguided. In G & Y, you know exactly where you stand, avg position is reported and I'm pretty sure you're capable of looking at your ads as well. In pre-Panama Y, bidding a certain amount was never a guarantee of a position or cost - it is, and was, a dynamic marketplace that was changing constantly.

    So keep your "likes", as you like, but don't expect others to "buy" your reasons - they are built on misconceptions and frankly, a bit of laziness.

  19. #19
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    Actually, Donots, Yahoo have tightened their policies. We've (along with others) been running direct linked affiliate search campaigns on Yahoo for years through our account management there. They applied a masking policy internally (upon request by large affiliate advertisers). This policy has not fallen away, it seems. In some ways, I'm letting the cat out of the bag, but given that it doesn't matter any more, why not!

  20. #20
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Link to (or cut and paste from) any changed policies?

    Depending on your merchant's tracking mechanisms, this came still be done. I'm doing it now and so are you.

    And this point is still unrelated to the claims Trust was making about ad position and price. But since you're here, chime in on that issue please. Would you rather have the ranking and costing mechanisms be based on bid alone (pre-Panama) or would you prefer, for your own business as an affiliate and ppc consultant, to have a hybrid system that considers other factors besides just the bid?

    I'm guessing this post of yours at your blog (posted before Panama came out) gives me a hint about which one you'll choose:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Yahoo announced yesterday during their Q3 earnings call that they will launch Panama with immediate effect. I must confess that I havenít had the opportunity to look into it mainly due to the fact that I havenít had access to their backend up until now, due to the fact that weíre not a big Yahoo client, mainly because their old system sucked and we didnít want to waste our time with it, when Google was giving us great returns - hopefully that will change.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  21. #21
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    "So keep your "likes", as you like, but don't expect others to "buy" your reasons - they are built on misconceptions and frankly, a bit of laziness."

    No, they're built on you not getting the big picture why they're doing this and it will be worse, give it some time and we'll bump this thread again.

    They would rather have merchants bidding for 2 very good reasons:

    a. they have bigger pockets
    b. they're usually more relevant since they're the ones actually selling the product or service.

    Who do you think is going to have the more relevant landing page between a merchant and affiliate? Another plus for the merchant. They don't have a good history towards affiliates, one of the worst among the SE's. Ask Dynamoo about that one, I consider him the resident expert on that one

  22. #22
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    The new Panama has some significant downsides. I am seeing a much lower ROI. I also do a lot of regional targeting by cityand Panama claims to have regional targeting but can only target by DMA which could be hundreds of miles.

  23. #23
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    They would rather have merchants bidding for 2 very good reasons
    They tried that approach for a few years and got spanked!

    Can your keen insight tell us why they switched to Panama then?

    Who do you think is going to have the more relevant landing page between a merchant and affiliate?
    This depends on what is searched for! And is EXACTLY central to my point, which you are missing completely.

    They don't have a good history towards affiliates, one of the worst among the SE's. Ask Dynamoo about that one, I consider him the resident expert on that one
    You starting the "Yahoo hates affiliates" angling here?

  24. #24
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sthbodyjewelry
    The new Panama has some significant downsides. I am seeing a much lower ROI. I also do a lot of regional targeting by cityand Panama claims to have regional targeting but can only target by DMA which could be hundreds of miles.
    For roi, has your CPC risen while bids stayed the same? How's your relevancy, ctr and site quality?

    For targeting, would call adding less than ideal geo targeting an improvement over having none?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    For roi, has your CPC risen while bids stayed the same? How's your relevancy, ctr and site quality?

    For targeting, would call adding less than ideal geo targeting an improvement over having none?
    CPC has risen, bids stayed the same. Conversion rate went way down the drain. Site quality is 3-4 for most keywords. If you are doing targeting that has to be based around a distance from your business the new regional targeting is useless. If you target states or large cities in your campaigns then it could prove useful.

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