Yahoo! & Microsoft Search Alliance: Combining Advertising Accounts.
In the past, E-Power Marketing has been a proponent of allocating the majority of clients pay-per-click advertising budgets to Google who holds the majority of the search engine market share. However, since the Yahoo and Microsoft search alliance was finalized last year, it seems we may need to re-evaluate this stance. That isn't to say that Microsoft's AdCenter is to replace Google AdWords, but rather it has become a stronger second option than ever before.
There are a number of advantages that advertisers can cash in on from this alliance. The most significant will be the ability to harness the advertising power of both Yahoo and Microsoft Bing's search networks through one account and one ad buy. Not only will this make account management for advertisers who used both separately in the past much more time effective; those of you who only used one or the other will now have access to a greater number of potential visitors as well.
However, it's going to take an extra bit of effort on behalf of you as advertisers if you wish to take advantage of this alliance right away. You will have to transition all Yahoo campaigns you wish to continue running in the future over to a new or existing Microsoft AdCenter account. Once Yahoo ad serving is fully transitioned to Microsoft's AdCenter, which is anticipated for the end of October 2010, all Yahoo Search Marketing accounts will stop receiving impressions. The ad serving transition is expected to begin around mid October. Avoid missing out on valuable search traffic by insuring your Yahoo account transitions are done as soon as possible. Regardless of whether or not you already have an AdCenter account, you shouldn't expect these transitions to happen seamlessly. There are a lot of differences between how Yahoo and Microsoft handle paid search advertising so you will most likely need to make a few tweaks to existing Yahoo accounts in order to have a clean transition. Below are a few key incompatibilities that I've run into while transitioning our client accounts.
Yahoo and Microsoft have created an easy to use, fully automated transition tool that highlights any incompatibilities accounts might have. This tool also allows users to make any changes before the transition process begins. These account transitions should be made by mid October to ensure your ads receive all potential impressions. As ad serving begins to transition to AdCenter, you should see traffic decrease in your Yahoo Search Marketing accounts and appear in your AdCenter accounts. Once the ad serving transition is complete you'll receive an email from Yahoo. It is at this time that you'll also begin to display advertising on both Yahoo and Bing through a single ad buy. It is important to note that until the transition is completed in the end of October, you will still need to actively manage your Yahoo Search Marketing accounts to insure that ads are displaying on Yahoo! and their partner sites.
Although up until this point the alliance has given Google nothing to worry about, (they're still standing strong with a 65% market share according to the Nielsen Co.), Microsoft's Bing has been making steady strides and is now the second most popular search engine in America. Nielson Co. published that in August 2010, Bing's market share rose 13.9% and Yahoo's declined to 13.1% bringing their market share as a combined entity around 27%. You don't have to be a mathematician to see how you could benefit from this alliance. More visibility through increased market share alone should be enticing enough, not to mention the ease of manageability. There's no time to waste though. The longer you wait to make the transition, the more search visibility you could be missing out on.
For the most up to date news and information regarding the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance visit the Search Alliance Transition Center.