Yahoo Search Marketing Lunch Panel: The New Advertising Platform





Dan Boberg starts off by talking about pubcon history and yahoo’s involvement with it. Then he mentions panama, they’ve talked to a lot of users to get input on the new system. They’re going to do a demo of it. He’s saying they’re moving away from a search listing position to a marketing position and away from manual editorial review towards algoritmic review. He says the system is currently very linear and the new one should be more dynamic. He mentions a/b testing, demographic targeting, click to call, geotargetting, clicks forecasting, quality index, optimization and analytics, fast ad activation.
John (something) takes over. He’s going to into their production environment and walk us through the creation of a campaign. New homepage has a new section of alerts, communications pushed out to the advertisers, to show things that are not working, like running out of budget, ads not showing, editoral rejections. They’ll also show opportunities there. the advertiser can specifcy what types of alerts they’d like to see. He shows an alert that say funds are low and the link leads you to the section to add more funds.
They also have a section for trending information, on performance metrics, a “really quick snapshot” of how they’ve done over the last period of time. He offers to take cards to get entered into a pool for testers.
He starts to create a campaign for a hypothetical client, and set some geotargetting parameters. The client is a rental home in colorado. Rather than just setup a geotarget for colorado, he’s going to use advanced features to target searchers outside of colorado who might want a home in colorado. The target criteria is “city and surrounding area” he’s looking for the city by drilling down into a state. He’s targeting san fransico searchers who’ll want a vacation home in CO. The map highlights the taregetted area. They’ve made some acquisitions in the geo-targetting space that should provide advertisers with better reach into a geo area. The technology is better at disambituating search keywords like “soho”. He’s now setting up “targets” or keywords, there is a choice between sponsored search and content match (YPN). He’s putting in 3 seed terms and his URL and the system is getting keywords from the landing page he identified to return a relevant list of keywords. It looks similar to google’s keyword tool. You can select keywords you want and you can setup negative keywords, There is a collaborative filter to further develop the keyword list. The system gives him a refined set of keywords, and he picks the top 4. There is a bug in the step towards the bidding process. Supposedly there was a problem with geo targetting and click forecasting, so for the purposes of the demo he’s now setting the geo paramters to a national campaign.
He shows the new “bid landscape” page. Based on a bid inputted by the user the system is showing estimated clicks, cost and position, there is also a slick ajax tool for checking out the tradeoffs in bid pricing.
He’s writing an ad. There’s a campaign review screen where he can view all his parameters. There is a daily bid limit which can be used to estimate the number of clicks the ad will get. The forecast system is for agencies to go to advertisers with opportunity and budget data. There’s another review section.
It looks like he’s explaining some user behavior data gathered by yahoo search data. They’ve got some features for indirect conversion data, like which pages “assist” in a sale.
John Slade takes the mic now. He asks how many people use tivo to skip ads, and how many people know how to strip ads out of websites with firefox. He believes that eventually people will be able to block irrelevant ads. He says bid-based ranking allows irrelevant ads to be shown, the new ranking system will show users those ads that are most useful and meaningful to users. An ads performance will influence how you should manage your bids. better ads will get a reward for good relevance. He says that bid wars do not help create compelling messages and that is what the new system is designed to help reward.
What will the upgrade look like and how will I get in?
He mentions early adopters vs late, people who want to get in before the holidays and those who do not want to disrupt the holidays. They are scheduling upgrading so they can take these different users into account. They want to be able to iterate quickly and take into account user input. If you want to get in, they’ll show a URL how to get in quickly.
The upgrade will not cost anything.
The new ranking method will take over sometime in q1 after most advertisers are on the new system.
The agencies and tools should be able transition seemlessly.

Questions:
Is there a mass update tool?
The new version will be able to upload campagns via spreadsheets
There is some effort going into new advertiser offers, set-it-and-forget it setups for novice webmasters, as well as vouchers.
Will there be a client center for agencies?
They’ve made some choices about features in releases, and they think they need to improve multi-site management features. He’s really emphasizing that iteration will be quick and easy.
Is there a plan to clean up the API?
there is a new API to go with the new system, greater stability and features, they’re rolling out API broadly access in q1.
When will the new system be open to new accounts?
No date is being annouced for new accounts, but it should be soon.
The ability to view reports across markets is not in this release.
Will 3rd party bid management tools take on a lesser role in the new system?
They work closely with tools and agencies, they believe it is a market descision if these tools survive in the non-pure-auction bid ranking system. They think there will be different types of tools, instead of bid optimization, advanced click forecasting is used as an example.
Are quality ranks taking into account ad position?
yes, clickthrough and relevance will be taken into consideration also.
Are they removing the 10cent minmum bid?
No plans, but they’re thinking abou it.
When will the UK rollout be?
They will rollout to the international market after the US rollout. The UK is an imporant market, so they’ll want to get that out soon. (more details to come)

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