Lee Odden

Panama Geo-Targeting Update

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Yahoo

Yesterday I posted a link to aimclear’s blog about his frustrations with getting Yahoo geo targeting features to work for him. A thread had also been started at Search Engine Watch forum which apparently has been pulled, but thanks to Google cache, I was able to grab some of the info.

Basically, ackmnmn from aimclear says that a support person at Yahoo informed him that Yahoo recognized some aspects of geo targeting were not working and that Yahoo would be disabling geo targeting or parts of it.

In the same SEW forum thread, YahooSarah chimed in with:

“We are seeing DMA targeted ads are not showing up in more specific sub-DMA geo-modified (geo-tagged) queries. Example: ‚ÄúPasadena hotel‚Äù will not be matched to Los Angeles DMA targeted keyword, ‚Äúhotel‚Äù. You should start to see improvements the week of January 15.”

Lee Odden

Yahoo Panama – Interview with John Slade of Yahoo!

Spotlight on Search: Interview with John Slade of Yahoo!

John Slade
There has been quite a bit of buzz on the paid search marketing front with the launch of the new Yahoo! Search Advertising platform aka “Panama”. At the WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference in Las Vegas, Yahoo! announced the launch during a sponsored lunch. Dan Zarrella did a good a review of that session here.

Our YSM account recently went through the upgrade and we’re going through the process of getting familiar with all the new platform features. After talking to my contact at Yahoo PR as well as Mona Elesseily from Page Zero who has written a book about the Yahoo Search Marketing program, I thought it would be good to get some insight directly from Yahoo for Online Marketing Blog readers. John Slade, Senior Director of Yahoo Global Product Management was kind enough to field a few questions for me.

Lee Odden

Getting Your Web Site Noticed

When the Yahoo Publisher Network blog editor Michael Mattis asked me to write an short marketing article for small businesses I knew exactly what to write about. As much as anyone, I am a proponent of new and interesting online marketing strategies like using social media for marketing, but I am also a firm believer in tried and true tactics, such as promoting one’s site offline.

After going through the routine hoops with Yahoo, the article has published on the YPN blog today, “Signal to Noise”. The article covers the basics as well as a few new, low cost tactics including:

  • Market offline, as well as online
  • Announce your site
  • Market with a blog
  • Optimize content and links
  • Keep your content fresh
Lee Odden

Yahoo and Google Copying Each Other

For some good humor, check out the following posts by Jeremy Zawodny from Yahoo and Matt Cutts from Google. Jeremey points out a striking similarity between the Yahoo and Google MSIE splash pages. Google has changed the splash page to something else by now.

Matt responds in that very politically correct and polite way that Matt does and then he points out how Yahoo has been copying Google’s PPC ad layouts.

I’ve seen other examples of this sort of thing shared with me by a search engine employee and I guess it’s bound to happen. They watch each other so closely and there are so many teams involved that stuff like this can slip by. Although, the ad formats and colors are pretty hard to miss. 🙂

TopRank Marketing Editor

Session – Bulk Submit 2.0

TopRank Marketing Editor     Google, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, Yahoo

Bulk submitting your site to search engines is quite an easy task. Granted, it may sound spammy, but it’s not. 🙂 This session covered things like XML site maps and paid inclusion options. Google gave an overview of their webmaster tools and gave tips like having separate XML site maps for different types of media (like mobile) and removing un-necessary information from the urls (like session ids). Yahoo talked about Yahoo Site Explorer and said that more features were on the way. They noted that a feedback area launched recently and it was a great way to put in your opinion on what was missing orbroken. It also comes with Digg like functionally so users can vote on topics. The more votes, the quicker Yahoo will consider working on it. Overall, XML site maps is the way to go to make sure you get all your URLs indexed by the major search engines.

Lee Odden

Mainstream Pubs Invite User Content

Lately I’ve noticed a few mainstream web publications making concerted efforts to solicit user generated content. Enabling consumers to submit news gives media access to millions of potential stories they might otherwise not know about, or not have a scoop on. I know our local (and likely national) public radio station has been soliciting user generated content and news stories for at least a year and so do some TV stations. Also, Topix.net allows users to interact with news stories on their forums which, according to Topix.net founder Rich Skrenta, has enabled a big boost in traffic.

Most recently I noticed that Yahoo News has launched You Witness News that allows you to upload photos and video for potential use in Yahoo News stories. According to comScore, Yahoo News is the #1 online news source, so marketers should take notice of such an opportunity.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Session – Vendor Spotlight

TopRank Marketing Editor     AdWords, Google, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, Yahoo

The vendor spotlight session covered alternatives or additives to going with PPC campaigns from companies like Google and Yahoo. They discussed how pay per call was more effective and available in more areas like TV and print than pay per click was. It also doesn’t suffer click fraud and clients like it more as it’s closer to a sale.

Tools for managing your pay per click and pay per call accounts were also discussed. Zanox offers a one stop shop for managing all your accounts including Google PPC, Yahoo PPC, click per call and more. Since it’s available worldwide, it can even help you with international accounts and search engines. Lycos spoke on how there offerings and how they can be customized for verticals and you can even become a publishing partner to use Lycos tools while running your own ad network with your own look and feel. Both companies trying to make it easier on the end user and increasing ROI.

Lee Odden

Yahoo Changes Bidding Information and Grandfathered Bids

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Yahoo

Yahoo Search Marketing sent out an email today announcing changes. Some of the manage bids information will be removed and replaced with “Estimated Average Position” and “Bid Range for Top Positions”.

Here are the details from the email:

In early December 2006, some of the information on the Manage Bids page will no longer be available. We will be removing the “Top 5 Max Bids,” “Position” and “Your Cost” columns from the current account interface. The View Bids tool will also be removed.

These columns will be replaced with two new columns of data:

  • Estimated Average Position
    This displays an estimate of the average position your listing may achieve, based on your bid and the current bids of other advertisers.
Lee Odden

Las Vegas Pubcon Yahoo Party

Yahoo Party at Pubcon
Wow, what a party! Yahoo had a very private, invite-only party last night at the Palms Towers in the Playboy suite.

Pubcon Jolina and Karen at Yahoo Party
Thank you to Yahoo PR for letting me bring Karen and Jolina from the TopRank team. This was their first conference and Karen’s fist time in Las Vegas. There were only 100 or so people invited to this party from a conference of several thousand, so it made quite an impression.

The Playboy Suite was quite a place. Here are a few photos:
Projection Pool Playboy Suite

Pubcon Daron Babin telling tall tales

Pubcon The band at the Yahoo Party

Pubcon Bartender at Yahoo Party

Pubcon Yahoo Party

Pubcon Hanging out in the Pool

I’ve got to run to do my next presentation but will post more photos later or you can check my Flickr page. Nice job on the party Yahoo!

Lee Odden

New Google, Yahoo, MSN Eye Tracking Report

enquiro-eyetracking1106.gif
Manoj over at Web Analytics World blog has announced the release of a new eyetracking study by Enquiro that takes an in-depth look at interactions with Google, Yahoo! and MSN using eye tracking methodology. Many search marketers are familiar with Enquiro’s original eye tracking report on Google. (pdf)

The new Google/Yahoo/MSN whitepaper covers:

  • How We Scan a Listing
  • Semantic Mapping
  • Information Scent
  • Thin Slicing
  • Banner Blindness
  • Growth of Navigational Search
  • Impact of Bolded Search Queries and Icons
  • Perceived Relevancy
  • Golden Section Theory
  • Portal Entry Success
  • Interactions with Top Sponsored
  • Interactions with Side Sponsored
  • Interactions with Top Organic
  • Interactions with Bottom Organic
  • Interactions with Vertical Results
Lee Odden

Is Yahoo Courting AOL Again?

boy_and_girl_gazing_at_moon.jpg
Via TW, Fortune reports that Yahoo may be resuming talks with AOL about an acquisition as a play against rival Google.

“FORTUNE has learned from multiple sources that Yahoo! recently approached Time Warner (parent of FORTUNE’s publisher) about buying America Online – essentially trying to jump-start talks that broke down a year ago. A source close to Yahoo disputes that Yahoo approached Time Warner and says that there are no active conversations between the two companies.”

The story also offers speculation about what Yahoo’s next moves might be:

  • Sell to Microsoft
  • Merge with eBay
  • Stay the course
Lee Odden

Yahoo’s Terry Semel on Google, YouTube and MySpace

Fortune Magazine posted an interview with Yahoo CEO, Terry Semel today with questions about Yahoo’s mater plan, and Yahoo vs Google: “…just being really good at one thing may not be enough.”

It’s tempting for mainstream media to compare Yahoo and Google but I don’t think most people do. At least not head to head. When I want to search, I do think of Google first. But when I want to use maps, or web based email, or instant messaging I use Yahoo. I also use Flickr a lot, but I don’t necessarily associate it with the Yahoo brand. Yahoo is getting some traction with Answers, but it’s delay with Panama isn’t doing the stock any favors.
Full article.