Yahoo Inc. announced Monday the beginning of their search advertising upgrades. This long-awaited first step sets the stage for a reinvigorated competition with search industry leader Google, Inc.
Yahoo's new sytem will help advertisers target their ads based on consumer's keyword searches. Advertisers will also be able to geographically target their ads (based on databases acquired when Yahoo bought WhereonEarth last year), and eventually, target Web advertisements using demographic and online behavioral factors.
It's a needed step from Yahoo, who has watched Google's market share continue to balloon. Industry analysts see Yahoo finally catching up to Google from a technology standpoint, and setting the stage to keep up with other emerging advertising technologies, such as click-to-call Web customer service.
Yahoo will give customers time to optimize their sytems before rolling out the second phase of their launch, set for the third quarter of 2006.
An Overview of the Developments (via Loren Baker, Search Engine Journal):
Easy-to-Use Control Panel: A completely redesigned, easy-to-navigate control panel will help you see what’s working and what’s not–at the level of detail you choose–so you can take action and get even better results.
Fast Ad Activation: Most new ads will go online within minutes, allowing you to connect with customers quickly, and easily make changes to your ads whenever you need to.
Ad Testing: Easily test multiple versions of an ad to find the message that works best for your customers and provides the greatest return on your advertising investment. You can then choose to shift impressions to the ad that performs best.
Geo-Targeting: Display your ads broadly or narrow your geographic distribution to better target your customers, customize your ads and control your costs.
Campaign Budgeting, Forecasting and Scheduling: Create, budget and schedule individual advertising campaigns for greater control over your advertising strategy and spending. Review forecasts of your potential clicks based on your bids and budget and see how many clicks you’re leaving to your competitors.
Visibility: Understand how well your ads are performing relative to your competitors with the new Quality Index displayed for each ad. You’ll also see the bid range necessary for premium placement at the top of the search results page.