September 20, 2014

Bing! And Then There Were Two

As has been reported everywhere, Microsoft finally got their hands on Yahoo’s search. Some say the move is necessary to create a viable competitor to Google’s monopoly. Some bemoan the death of Yahoo (since they’re the only “old school” search engine still around). Virtually every possible angle has already been covered, so I’ll just talk about what the merger means to me, the PPC manager at Vizad.

First, The Bad News

  1. Muddled demographics – Yahoo is more social, skews younger and more female. Microsoft is more corporate, skews older and more male. Now it will be one big muddled mess (just like Google)
  2. Wasted certification – My Certified Yahoo Ambassador status is a goner (though the Ambassador program was pretty much gone already)

The Silver Lining

  1. One less interface(eventually) – No more dealing with Yahoo’s clunky, slow web interface and both Bing and Google have desktop clients
  2. I’m in total control – No longer do I have to worry that Yahoo has turned off my ads in the name of optimization, or added keywords, or added new ad groups or … you get my point
  3. A legitimate contender – While everyone talks about search generally, the Google monopoly is most problematic on the advertising side. A solid competitor (with deep pockets to compete) will hopefully create a healthier market for PPC advertisers

I’m sure there will be problems as two gigantic companies try to merge something so complex. I’m sure you’ll hear plenty from the pundits, but for a PPC manager like me this will likely improve life. How will it affect you?

3 Reasons Yahoo SHOULD Sell Search to Microsoft

Dear Carol Bartz (or your assistant who actually might look at what people are saying about the company),

Congratulations on being named CEO of Yahoo. With the numerous stories published about Yahoo I am grateful that the compulsory CEO head shot features your pleasant smile instead of Jerry’s goofy smile. If not for the reports that you swear like a sailor I could almost visualize you bringing a plate of fresh baked cookies to the boardroom for meetings.

Now I realize that you have a pretty major monkey on your back courtesy of Mr. Yang. Everybody knows that the Microsoft offer last year would have been stealing money, but unfortunately Jerry didn’t take it. Now Microsoft is knocking on the door with a much less attractive deal. However, I believe that selling search is in your best interest, and I’ll give you 3 reasons why:

Why Yahoo Should Sell Search

  1. Improved Interface – Ask any PPC manager handling Google, Yahoo and MSN and they’ll tell you that your interface is the hardest to use.
  2. Desktop Editor – Presuming that you actually want your advertisers to have large accounts that spend lots of money, the Microsoft adCenter Desktop will let those advertisers easily handle large accounts (myself included).
  3. Money – Microsoft is already dumping millions into search to compete. You still have nearly 20% of search and Microsoft will pay dearly to become a legitimate competitor in the space.

So there you have it Carol. Have an intern or assistant pretty that up with a nice slide deck and you’re ready to pitch to the board.

Best Regards,

Robert Brady

PPC Wizard

Yahoo Sinking Fast

As I was reading TechCrunch today I noticed a recurring theme; Yahoo is starting to sink like the Titanic. Three separate posts detail how top talent is leaving the company (or getting fired, depending on how you view these things), Microsoft has officially pulled out of all negotiations to purchase all or part of Yahoo (and make a somewhat viable competitor to Google), and that Google will now swoop in like an opportunistic vulture to gobble up the rotting remains of the once powerful Yahoo.

I know that sounds awfully dire and I purposefully conjured up some pretty vivid imagery, but let me clarify a couple of points. First, Yahoo still has billions of dollars of value simply because of their brand equity and web property portfolio. Nobody will enjoy the spoils of Yahoo’s fall without paying a pretty penny. Second, Yahoo may be able to survive independently, but not unless something drastic happens. Jerry Yang can’t just make a few minor tweaks with the algorithm and the website to save this ship. He needs to change the way Yahoo competes because going head-to-head with Google in search will just get them beat up like the scrawny kid on the elementary school playground.

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