First there was Goto.com (aka Overture.com) as the leader in PPC by advertiser spend. Then Google outpaced Overture. Overture was bought by Yahoo and Yahoo's Overture (now Panama) secured the second place in advertiser spend. Well, now, it seems like a couple advertisers are beginning to report a major milestone for Microsoft adCenter. Two very well respected and seasoned PPC specialists have announced that Microsoft adCenter has accounted for more spend then Yahoo.
Is this the beginning of Yahoo falling behind Microsoft in search ads? Google still secures a strong lead in the area, but Yahoo has been experiencing a slow death.
A WebmasterWorld thread has a post from a senior member, Beren, who has been at WebmasterWorld since 2003. Beren explained why Microsoft is beating Yahoo:
June 2008 was the first month when our MSN AdCenter spending exceeded our YSM spending. A milestone has been passed as YSM becomes our number 3. And it wasn't because MSN spending rose; it was because YSM spending sank. I almost feel sorry for this company when I look at how they have fallen. (But I'm not really sorry because I don't like spending money and because they brought it on themselves.) A few years ago, our AdWords and YSM spending were about equal. In June AdWords spending was 35 times YSM spending. Our YSM spending went from six digits per month back in 2005 to four digits in June 2008.
Is the lower spending because we are getting fewer clicks, bidding on different keywords? No. It is almost all due to the collapse in price at YSM. The competitors in this industry realized the poor quality of traffic out of YSM and drove the bids down, down, down.
Yes, that is a true shame.
A Search Engine Watch Forums thread has a post from moderator Discovery, saying the same thing:
For the past 3 years or so Adcenter has provided a nice but small supplement to our daily conversion count. Decent conversion costs and good quality customers. The only issue we had was that the volume of traffic and conversions were low. No matter what we tried, traffic didn't budge and Adcenter sat as a distant 3rd to Google and Yahoo.
Last month we saw an uptick in traffic as well as conversions at Adcenter. This trend continued for the last two weeks of June. Our latest numbers show that Adcenter has outpaced Yahoo in both conversions and CPL over the last 30 days.
Wow, the tide is turning and it seems like Microsoft is well on their way to beating Yahoo at the search ad business. But is it because Microsoft is doing something right or because Yahoo is doing something wrong?