Of the 3 main search engines, Google is known for being the most advanced when it comes to detailed settings and targeting. However, Yahoo has made a series of improvements, especially with the recent interface updates that have been added.
The layout might not look that different, but Yahoo definitely has added some new features that are worth talking about. For starters, Yahoo allows the user to change geo-targeting, ad scheduling, and set demographic bidding for each campaign, all on the campaigns tab. This makes it easier for a user to make or check changes quickly without having to go deep (several clicks within a campaign). In fact, I just changed the demographic bidding for a client in less than five minutes for the search network. That’s right, the search network.
Yahoo is upgrading the way demographic bidding is done for search. In fact, they’re leading the way. On Yahoo’s interface the user has the option to increase their bid based on gender and pre-specified age ranges. You might be thinking, doesn’t MSN offer demographic bidding for search? Yes, they do, but the difference is the user has full reign to set and increase their bid by dollar amount or by percentage on Yahoo. For example: If I want to bid $0.23 more for females, I can. If I want to increase my bid by 22.2% for males and females ages 25-29, I can. At present, MSN only offers percentage bidding by 10% increments on their interface for search and Google only offers demographic targeting for their content network.
Yahoo has also beefed up their geo-target settings. The user has the option to target by country, state, DMA, city or zip code. This is especially helpful when someone only wants to target a specific area; and from what I’ve noticed, they have most of the cities, and zip codes available to geo-target. The reason I mention this is because I’ve gone to other engines who claim to have detailed geo-target settings. However, when you go to choose the cities for a state, let’s say New York. The engine only gives the user seven cities to choose from. Everyone knows that there are more than seven cities in New York. This can be a challenge to overcome at times.
Speaking of time, Yahoo now allows you to do ad scheduling, and gives you some cool options. Not only can you do regular ad scheduling, but a user can also bid to pay more at a certain time of the day. For example: If a pizza shop owner wants to bid higher between noon and 2pm (lunch time) to ensure he’s in top position during that timeframe, he has that option. One of their best features is the time zone option. Yahoo gives the user the option to target their time zone or the audience’s time zone at the campaign level. This means, one campaign can target my local time zone and another campaign can target the audience’s time zone. It’s a plus because now a user doesn’t have to say I want to run between 9am and 5pm Eastern Time zone, but I don’t want to miss out on the people that run on Pacific Time. The time problem is now solved.
Yahoo’s addition of ad scheduling, and demographic bidding as well as advancing their geo-target settings is definitely a plus, especially, since a user can access these options quickly and with ease on the campaign tab. I would recommend taking advantage of these new features as soon as possible.
What will Google think of next? Earlier in the month they launched the Beta test of “advanced keyword match”. Then it was the new addition to Google’s search results; search within search box. Now there is demographic bidding.
Demographic bidding helps you target your ads to users of a particular age group, by gender, or to combinations of those groups. You can use demographic bidding whether you are using contextual or placement targeting and with both CPC and CPM bidding. You can refine your reach based on users’ gender and age on certain sites in the Google content network such as MySpace and Friendster. Overall, demographic bidding gives you more control over the demographic groups who see your ads.
Keep in mind that demographic bidding and demographic site selection are two separate ways of targeting your ads. Demographic site selection helps you find and target entire websites that have the audience you’re trying to reach. On the other hand, demographic bidding lets you modify your bids or restrict your ads’ visibility based on the age and gender of the users viewing your ads on participating sites in the Google content network. I think only time will tell if this new product will be accepted or not, but I’m sure newsletters and blogs will be talking about it soon.