Check Out My Case Study On Yahoo! Advertising

Aug. 06

I’m a huge fan of PR. From my experience, PR is an amazing way to get your name out there. It’s an amazing way to build lifelong connections. It’s an amazing way to help others. Also, PR Can Drive SEO Results. The more I grow as a marketer, the more I truly respect great PR.

Yahoo! Advertising Solutions

Today I’m thrilled to announce, quite possibly, my biggest PR win ever. I’m featured right now on the Yahoo! Advertising Solutions portal in a Case Study About The Yahoo!/Microsoft Search Alliance. That’s right, I made it to the big leagues, we’re talking about Yahoo! here. For the last few months, I’ve been working very closely with Yahoo!’s PR team. They wanted to talk to me about one of my favorite topics, The Yahoo!/Microsoft Search Alliance. Of course, I couldn’t pass this opportunity by and the rest is history. You can read my case study here. If you’d like to download the PDF version (which I think is really sharp), you can find it here.

I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Yahoo! team. It’s a real honor to have this opportunity. More than anything, I have built lifelong friendships with my Yahoo! account management team and couldn’t be more thankful. The Yahoo!/Microsoft Search Alliance truly is pushing the search marketing industry forward. It’s making life a lot more fun for online marketers like me. Thanks Yahoo! for everything!

I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of you. I’m talking about my team, my co-workers, past reports, past co-workers, readers, friends, and family. Your support means everything to me. Want to read more about PPC Ian in the press? I just updated my About Me page to highlight my press mentions at the top. Also, I encourage all of you to push your limits in PR. Have a great experience to share? Get out there and share it – I’d love to read about your online marketing experiences in the next big case study!

Want to learn more about the Yahoo!/Microsoft Search Alliance? Following are a few of my favorite posts here on PPC Ian about the Search Alliance:

Image in this post © Yahoo!

Search Alliance Snail Mail

Oct. 19

The Yahoo! Microsoft Search Alliance is upon us! It’s October and the Alliance is happening, right on plan. I couldn’t be more excited and impressed with the Alliance happening on schedule (it’s one of the biggest events in the history of search engine marketing, after all). As you may remember, I wrote about preparing for the Yahoo! Microsoft Search Alliance. I also wrote about Marin Software’s amazing search alliance whitepaper. Today, I wanted to share an interesting story and a few last minute tips about the Alliance.

Are You Ready For The Yahoo! Microsoft Search Alliance?

Are you ready for the Search Alliance? If not, don’t worry, you’re not alone. PPC Ian is in the same boat as you, not all of my Yahoo! accounts have a transition plan. As you may know, I’m a huge fan of leverage. I work on the most important stuff and don’t give much time to the lower leverage activities. As such, I have a few smaller personal YSM accounts that I haven’t logged into for a while and I have absolutely no transition plan in place. It’s actually really crazy! About a month ago, Yahoo! started calling me and leaving messages on my phone to remind me about the Alliance! Most recently, they started sending me snail mail. Check out the images of the postcard at the bottom of this post. Click on them to view the full sized pictures. Can you believe it?

I’m Impressed With The Calls and Snail Mail

I’m actually really impressed with it all. Just think about it: These smaller accounts are ideal accounts for Yahoo! and Microsoft. I rarely log in, I let it spend money month after month, and I’m not really measuring the results. Again, it’s all about leverage for me and this stuff is just too small to look at regularly. These types of autopilot accounts are really like a dream come true for search engines. The money just keeps flowing in. When I think about it all through that lens, it totally makes sense why Yahoo! and Microsoft are going to such great lengths to move my smaller accounts over. I’m sure when you add up all the folks in the same bucket as me, we’re talking about some serious profit that could be lost for Yahoo! and Microsoft.

Last Minute Search Alliance Tips

Let’s say you have larger search engine accounts that aren’t yet prepared for the Alliance. I’d like to close out by offering a few tips. First and foremost, let’s start out and look at the root of the issue. Did you know about the Alliance and, if so, why did you wait? If you knew about the Alliance, I’m betting you’re just too strapped for time. You need more leverage.

How do you get more leverage? First, I highly recommend working closely with your Yahoo! reps to see how they can help. You’d be really surprised how much they can get done quickly. My Yahoo! reps have been truly invaluable in the entire process, they are working overtime to make sure the Alliance goes smoothly. Second, I recommend evaluating ppc management software such as Acquisio. I’m just about the biggest fan of SEM software around and can guarantee it will give you more leverage. PPC software will ensure that you’re always on top of your game, one step ahead of everyone else. Best of luck!

My Yahoo! Microsoft Search Alliance Postcard – Click To View Full Sized Images In New Window

Yahoo! Microsoft Search Alliance Mail

Yahoo! Microsoft Search Alliance Mail 2

Yahoo Microsoft Search Alliance Whitepaper

Sep. 14

At the beginning of August, I shared my tips on preparing for the Yahoo Microsoft Search Alliance. Now that September is here, it’s really crunch time! I just got back from Maui and am really lucky I’m all rested up because we’re in the 11th hour here, the Search Alliance is upon us! With very high probability, Yahoo and Microsoft will complete the Alliance in October-November and Yahoo’s Panama platform will cease to exist.

Are you ready? If not, don’t worry! I just discovered an amazing whitepaper that will help you prepare fast. Today, I’d like to feature Marin Software’s The Yahoo!-Bing Search Alliance: 10 Secrets To A Smooth Transition. You’ll want to download it right away, this free 7 page whitepaper/checklist is truly invaluable.

Marin Software’s FREE Search Alliance Whitepaper Rocks

Marin Software Facebook

I’m a big fan of whitepapers! I just wrote a 12 page whitepaper all about SEM Automation. It took me nearly an entire day to write and edit this whitepaper. However, it was totally worth it based on all the positive feedback I have received.

Marin Software, one of my favorite SEM automation companies, is also a fan of whitepapers! In fact, I highlighted their awesome Optimization Beyond Bidding whitepaper just a few weeks ago. Well, they did it again! This time they released an amazing whitepaper all about the Yahoo Bing Search Alliance. And, they couldn’t have released this whitepaper at a better time!

What To Expect In The Yahoo Bing Whitepaper

Since the whitepaper is absolutely free and it’s a quick read, I’m going to save you some time and keep this post short. At the same time, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite aspects of Marin’s paper to pique your interest:

  • Marin offers 10 no-nonsense tips to make your transition as smooth as possible. These practical tips will immediately fuel your search organization’s October queue.
  • Have you performed a gap analysis before? Marin explains why this term will become one of your favorite words heading into the Yahoo Bing transition.
  • Yahoo and adCenter are very different platforms, especially when it comes to search engine specific tracking parameters. Marin discuses the differences between tracking parameters and also throws Google in the mix for good measure.

To close out, I’d like to offer a bonus tip for PPC Ian readers: Don’t forget to learn all about {param1}, {param2}, and {param3} on adCenter. These three simple keyword-specific parameters set adCenter apart from the other search engines with very powerful versatility. Used correctly, they will take your adCenter game to the next level. So, what are you waiting for? You can download the whitepaper here.

Image in this post ©

Yahoo Microsoft Search Alliance Preparation

Aug. 03

Have you downloaded my FREE SEM Software Buyer’s Guide Whitepaper yet? If not, I highly recommend it. Why? I continue to get questions from friends within our industry each and every day about buying the right SEM automation solution. It’s a really hot topic right now! My free whitepaper communicates my six years worth of hands on experience buying SEM solutions and will save you countless hours of work, while helping you make the best possible decision.

Today, however, I’d like to switch gears. I’m going to move on from my recent discussion of PPC automation and domain names (such as dot co) and talk about the upcoming Yahoo Microsoft Search Alliance! I’m basically going from one hot topic to another. There’s no doubt about it: The Yahoo Microsoft Search Alliance is upon us and it’s time to start preparing. Today, I’ll give you a few tactical tips about how you can prepare your SEM operations for the Search Alliance.

What Is The Yahoo Microsoft Search Alliance?

Alliance Partnership

Let’s start out with a little background for those of you new to the Search Alliance. What is this Alliance everyone is talking about? Easy! Yahoo’s Panama platform (the platform powering Yahoo Search Marketing) is going away and both Yahoo and Microsoft will be powered by Microsoft’s adCenter platform. In other words, you will be able to log into your Microsoft adCenter account to manage your PPC campaigns across both Yahoo and Microsoft, all in one place! Moreover, Yahoo’s organic results will also be powered by Microsoft as well.

This creates some serious operational efficiency. Instead of maintaining two platforms, there will now be one "super platform" that powers both search engines. In terms of user interface, both companies will still operate independently, the Alliance is really all about back end efficiency. What about account management? Yahoo’s team will handle it. In terms of timeframe, all signals point towards the Alliance happening this quarter! That’s right, in the next few months, you will be migrating to the new Search Alliance platform. Following are just a few things you can do to make the transition smooth.

Tip 1: Spend A Lot of Time With Your Yahoo Reps

As mentioned above, Yahoo’s account management team will be your point of contact regarding SEM campaigns on the new Search Alliance platform. Even though the platform extends to both Yahoo and Microsoft, Yahoo’s team will be your only point of contact. As such, it’s time to really build a great relationship with your Yahoo team. There’s likely to be a lot of questions, initiatives, and even confusion in the next few months. Build that great relationship now so Yahoo gives you premium service.

Tip 2: Build Out Your Microsoft adCenter Account Now

When the Search Alliance happens, you’ll have two main options. Your first option will be migrating your Yahoo Search Marketing campaign structure over to Microsoft’s adCenter. This is actually very similar to the Panama transition for those of you who have been around a long time! Just one challenge: Your 40 character Yahoo titles will get truncated to 25 character Microsoft titles. Another challenge: The match types between the two engines are completely different (standard/advanced on Yahoo versus exact, phrase, and broad on Microsoft). Your second option will be leveraging your existing Microsoft adCenter account to power both platforms. (There might even be a third option where you can perhaps combine the first two.)

I’m a huge fan of the second option, leveraging you existing adCenter account to power both search engines. It makes perfect sense! Transitions are problematic. They take time and can be buggy. Transition all you can now by building out your adCenter account. That way, when the Alliance happens, you won’t have to worry about porting campaigns over. All the campaigns you need will already be created and you’ll be free to focus on other stuff such as bidding.

Tip 3: Set (Low) Profitability Expectations Now

When you launch a new campaign, do you make money from day one? Or, do you lose money, optimize a bit, lose more money, optimize more, finally break even, optimize even more, and then start turning a profit? For me (and most search engine marketers I know), situation two is very familiar. In my opinion, the Yahoo Microsoft Search Alliance transition is just like launching a new campaign. Everything is getting flipped upside down. As such, now is the time to start setting expectations with your executive team. It’s very likely that your profitability will go downhill during the first few weeks of the Search Alliance. It will take time to figure out the new system and optimize towards profitability. Without warning, your organization may be in for a real shock!

Tip 4: Get Yourself and Your Team Hyped Up

I absolutely love the search engine marketing career path! Why? Everything is constantly changing. The Yahoo Microsoft Search Alliance is just one example why we’ll never be out of work (SEM is a recession proof career in my opinion). While it’s going to be a ton of work, the Alliance is pure excitement and one of the biggest shifts our industry has ever seen. It’s going to be great!

Image of Alliance Partnership © iStockPhoto – lisegagne