Can you imagine an army general telling his troops during a battle that they’re changing course, but some will stay on the same course, and he may change his mind about the new course at any time? It’s inconsistent and doesn’t give the troops a vision they can rally behind. That’s the kind of message Yahoo Search Marketing sent today to their 100,000+ advertisers when they announced that they’re changing the display of their ads.
Yahoo has announced plans to shorten the number of characters they display on pay per click ads within search results. Is this because shorter is better? That’s not entirely clear.
From today’s Yahoo Search Marketing’s newsletter to advertisers:
Great opening, but things get muddy in the details:
- Yahoo states that their syndication partners plan to continue displaying full ad descriptions. If shorter descriptions receive more clicks, thus revenue, why would their syndication partners stick with the status quo?
- Should advertisers now write 70 character descriptions, followed by bonus copy for Yahoo’s partner sites?
- Transitioning thousands of ads to the new 70 character limit could be a tedious task for advertisers. Should they let Yahoo crop their current ads or spend the time rewriting their ads?
- Complicating things further, Yahoo states that they will, “fine tune the exact character count that we believe works best for advertisers and search users.” How is an advertiser supposed to write creatives for a moving target?
I think Yahoo Search Marketing is moving in the right direction, but the transition announcement lacked the leadership and decisiveness I’d expect from a company of Yahoo’s stature. Yahoo’s advertisers are their troops, and are looking for direction on how they – in partnership with Yahoo – can reap the best return on their ad spend. Tell them what works. They’ll do it.
Is Yahoo Search Marketing really doing this to make their system compatible with Google Adwords? As more advertisers use the Google Adwords API to manage their campaigns, wouldn’t it make sense for Yahoo to make it as easy as possible for advertisers to push the same ad copy to both ad networks? Does Yahoo consider accommodating Google AdWords advertisers a winning business strategy?
What do you think?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.