Compare & Contrast: Ad Program Strategies (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft)

Dec 4, 2006 - 11:14 am 2 by
Filed Under SES Chicago 2006

Detlev Johnson is modding up this session. He introduces the show to this audience. And then explains the session at hand.

Brad Geddes (aka eWhisper) is up first, from LocalLaunch, asks people to turn off their cell phones. Google AdWords supports over 200 countries, with 27 regional targeting options. He shows a screen shot of the countries screen in AdWords. All countries and territories is the default option, so be careful with that. He said you should use one country per campaign, and he will explain that more later. He then showed the regions and cities targeting features, down to Los Angeles, CA, San Jose, etc. But you can then choose the cities option. He said one of the advantages is that you may get a 5th line of ad text in the Google search page (it shows the geo specific data to the searcher, sometimes). Google also allows for radius targeting, type in a zip code and say you want to target within X miles of that zip code. Google also allows you to enter multiple points, intergrated with Google maps, you can click on the map, highlight and outline the region and that is where you will target. Google also allows you to preview your ads, as if you are in a specific geo location, so you can see what your advertisers will see, as if you were them (this tool is found in the ads diagnostic tool). Microsoft adCenter supports 200 countries but only shows ads in 4 countries but they will role out more as time goes on. Geographic targeting is determined at the order level (ad group level). He then shows screen shots, all customers (all of the world) or you can select countries or regions. Yahoo Search Marketing "Panama" is only available in the US now. 23 countries available, DMA targeting (US only), one account per country. Each country may have different editorial considerations. He then shows screen shots from the US based advertisers. You can select entire market versus regions (entire market is a country). You can drill down to state, region, etc and it shows you a highlighted map with your selection. They do have a zip code search, but it is not radius, it just shows you regions that are in or close to that zip code. How does this work? They use user registration data, passport accounts, previous searches. They also use geographic queries (searching for chicago hotel). IP targeting, the most common technology used, he shows typically how it works (i.e. the ISPs host location, so it may not be 100% accurate if a customer uses them but is not in the same location as the ISP). So you should create two campaigns, one for geographic based campaigns and two for country based campaigns - so you can control each one. TYpes of geographic keywords, state, state abbreviations, cities, neighborhoods, zip codes, area codes, counties, airport codes and regional lingo. Measuring Geo Campaigns: Measure statistics and create offers at the smallest, logical, geographic level possible. Different geographies respond to different offers. If targeting internationally, use one country per campaign.

Kevin Lee from Did It is next up, to give a match type review. Broad match is the default in Google and adCenter, so understand that. Phrase "quotes" in Google, Microsoft lets you check out. Exact is in brackets in Google. Make sure to use negative keywords to refine your audience. Advanced (Yahoo's combination of phrase and broad matches) and is Yahoo's default for Panama. Extended broad match and matchdriver. Google and Microsoft prefer that you add the plurals to the campaign separately. Yahoo uses MatchDriver. But Microsoft is currently experimenting with stemming. Google may use extended broad match on a plural or other stemming issue. Kevin always recommends doing more work and create longer, more specific keyword list. You improve relevance as you get better at managing your campaigns. You are trying to understand the searchers intent. That may change how you structure your campaigns and your landing pages. Use your match type to maximize your quality score. Mix match types to gain breadth of SERP coverage. And make sure to track everything. Make sure you understand that you can also control the "network mix." That is of contextual options and extended network (i.e. AOL and others from Google). Clicks from different segments of an engines network may need different bids. Leverage Google's FastTrack to track contextual and bid separately. Yahoo's Panama has URL tracking, that gives you more detail on your clicks. Your dealing with more than keyword lists, and there lots of ways to segment. Segmentation includes; plurals, day par,t, network control and demographic control. He then shows Microsoft adCenter, and shows you how you can bid boost against the refinements you make, those segments. Yahoo Panama allows you to select options at the campaign level. Google has bid boosting as well by day parting. He shows how day parting can make a huge difference in conversions. Because of segmentation, there are hundreds of ways to mine the tail. Then you can bid higher and increase conversions and get more orders. He reminds the audience about the SEMPO survey taking place now at

Mona Elesseily from Page Zero Media is next up to talk about search engine relationships and agencies. Google's editorial process is that ads go up instantly, which is not 10% true. The automated system speeds up editorial review, it blocks trademark terms, grammar issues, etc. Yahoo's editorial process is mostly manually reviewed, it depends on search volume and search sensitivity such as "snow blowers" are automatically reviewed). With Panama, Yahoo's review process changes to Fast Ad Activation, they go up relatively quickly, but not all ads go up within 5 minutes. Yahoo places an emphasis on post submission reviews. They will continue to randomly sweep accounts to catch editorial infringements. Manual reviews have human error, so appeal them. Microsoft is sent through automatic filter, anything that fails, they go through manual review. It can take ten days to clear in MSN. Google Trademarked Terms, you can bid on trademarked keywords but not use them in the ad text in the US. Some trademarked terms placed on a block list. Trademarked terms are considered in quality score. There are issues and weirdness with it, of course. Yahoo! Search Marketing trademark Policy; Yahoo originally allowed people to bid on trademarked terms, but as of march 2006, they no longer allow it. However, resellers and info sites can bid on those terms but there are explicit conditions. MSN Trademark Policy; they don't allow ads in keywords or ad copy that are TMs. But TM holders need to file this with Microsoft. There are exceptions like with the others. She brings up the Rescuecom vs. Google in September 2006 and the buying for the home versus humble adobe in October 2006. She then goes into explaining how MSN's ads are getting more relevant. She compares Google in August 06 to now and all is good. Customer service; the search engines are helpful and the help might be better from specific customer reps. You should try to find good people. And there are higher service tiers at the search engines but does that translate to better service? Yes and No - it depends on the representative you get.

Brad Byrd from NewGate is last up who gives the company pitch first, and then said they were just acquired by (congrats!). Management Interface: He shows off the Google AdWords interface. He then shows off the new Yahoo Panama interface. Most of this was shown in previous presentations. Followed by the MSN interface, he said they took dynamic keyword insertion deeper than other ppc engines have done so far. Ad Delivery Optimization; Google auto optimizes creatives delivery, but this is not 100%, since its automated. Google provides two options, (1) optimize and (2) rotate, and rotate evenly delivers each creative evenly, to each ad unit but optimize will slant the delivery to the ad creative that generates a higher CTR. Yahoo also offers an ad delivery option, in the ad group setting (which differs from Google). Google's model focuses on click through rate in a campaign, Yahoo looks at each individual ad group with each keyword and creative. MSN has no option to turn on or off ad optimization, so one would assume the creatives are rotated evenly. Brad then gets into tracking tools. Yahoo was the first to introduce additional URL data. There is a tracking URL option in the admin console, and you can term them on or off, campaign wide. They will tell you match type, keyword, and the search query. There is currently no way to identify which creative was served for that specific click. Google uses a FastTrack or ValueTrack, it is an advertiser intimated tracking URL, you define your own URL and you can drop in your own features and values to get data from data. You can get search versus content, placement identifier and creative identifier can come from Google. MSN provides similar features, matchtype, order item id, ad id, and query string. Major Innovations in PPC ad networks. The Yahoo Watch List, a shortcut for tracking keywords or ad groups that are top of mind for you. MSN allows for creative templates, which provides additional customization on a per keyword level while still working in a template.

These posts may have spelling and grammar issues. These are session notes, written quickly and posted immediately after the session has been completed. Please excuse any grammar or spelling issues with session posts.


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