I really like Google AdWords but I really hate Yahoo! Search Marketing (Y!SM). I have nothing against the traffic they can bring. I can gain almost instant exposure at at Yahoo, All The Web, Alta Vista as well as a variety of meta search engines. It is the tools. It is the administrative back end that I hate. Thus I have created a my list of ten things I hate about Yahoo! Search Marketing. Here we go!

1. Pay Me Up Front Please – I hate the fact that you have to pre-pay in order for your listings to appear. With Google, your listings will display and then Google will bill you after the fact. Yahoo on the other hand requires pre-payment. That means that your funds sit in their bank account instead of yours.

Are they really that paranoid that they are going to get stiffed on the bill? Google doesn’t think so but apparently Yahoo does and so you have to deposit funds into your Sponsored Search account before any listings will appear. This first thing I hate leads me into the second thing I hate.

2. Budgeting Options – I hate the budgeting options or should I say “limitations” that Y!SM offers. You have the choice of checking “Budget On” or “Budget Off”. With Budget On, sure you can set a daily limit but the problem with this is that Yahoo will charge your credit card when you get to the point where your funds will expire in three days. This makes for managing budgets for clients a nightmare because there is always the potential for Yahoo to exceed that budget in any given month.

The alternative of Budget Off will allow you more control over managing a monthly budget but only if you go in daily and ad funds. A royal pain in the ?@$%! Even this has its limitations. Say you want to spend $10,000 one month but the next month only $1,000. That would mean adding about $33 a day to meet the $1,000 budget but Yahoo’s system wont allow this because they want a minimum 3 day supply which is based off your average. If you spent $10,000 the month before and your 3 day average is around $1,000, they are not going to allow you to deposit a mere $33.00. Confused? I sure am which is why I will stop here and go on the the next item.

3. Editorial Review – I hate the fact that you have to wait for listings to go live. You don’t with Google but Yahoo has to review new ads to make sure that they meet guidelines. That must mean a hell of a lot of reviewers pondering through listings day in and day out. What a boring job not to mention the overhead. meanwhile I have to wait. I figure if Google can allow ads to go live instantly with certain guideline checks built into the system, why can’t Yahoo?

4. Login Page – I hate the fact that you have to enter a stupid security code when you log in to your Y!SM account. I know, I know… if is there to block unauthorized bid managers and the like but gimme a break! It is just an extra time consuming step, especially if you are like me and tend to be dyslexic at times and enter the wrong code, prompting you to do it all over again.

5. Setting Up Ads – I hate the set up process of creating ads. Google’s AdGroup system is so much better. With Google, you create your ad first, then you associate all the keywords and phrases with the ad and finally set pricing. With Yahoo, you select keywords and then have to create individual ads for each one. Sure there are links that allow you to make the same ad for all or copy one to the next but the system is still cumbersome and time consuming in my opinion.

6. Reporting – I hate their reporting functions. Reporting is typically 24 hours behind but often it is worse then that. As of the writing of this blog entry, I have been trying to get billing transaction detail for a particular client for charges that occurred the 1st of this month and they are still not showing. Yuk!

7. No Regional Targeting – I hate the fact that you cannot target specific countries. You can with Google but with Yahoo, it is simply not there. Nothing more to say here.

8. Down For Maintenance – I hate the fact that Yahoo is constantly taking the system down for maintenance and often times what ever they do makes the whole system worse then before. I liken the process to putting another patch on a leaky inner tube. In reality, the whole system needs to be scrapped. They really need to start from scratch and build a new system, similar to what Google has in place. I’m sure certain patent restrictions would prohibit them from duplicating what Google has but they should at least be able to do better then what they have now.

9. Categories – I hate the fact that you have to name your categories in one word. No spacing. Not a big deal but stupid nevertheless Shows you how old the system really is.

And finally…

10. Grandfathered Bids – I hate this message that appears when you manage your listings:

Grandfathered Bids message

Don’t you think enough time has passed now since they moved the minimum bid requirement to $0.10 that they could remove this message? I don’t have any grandfathered bids so why do I have to stare at this message day after day. Set it as a pop up message for those who do have old grandfathered bids under the $010 minimum range warning them before they make changes but please, get it out of my face. I’m sick of looking at it!

End of list. 😉

I feel a little better now that I have vented, that is at least until I have to manage a Y!SM account again which is not very far off.

David Wallace

David Wallace

David Wallace, co-founder and CEO of SearchRank, is a recognized expert in the industry of search and social media marketing. Since 1997, David has been involved in developing successful search engine and social media marketing campaigns for large and small businesses.

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