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Microsoft / Yahoo Search Alliance: Gentlemen, Start Your PPC Engines!

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Hot on the heels of the organic results integration in the US, Yahoo & Bing both announced today that now is the time to begin preparing your paid search accounts for the final integration, in which Microsoft Adcenter will power all paid search ads on Yahoo! Search in the U.S. & Canada.

It's a race for market share!
searchalliance2.jpgThe combined product will enable advertisers to reach audiences on both search engines and will, for the first time, create a truly competitive alternative to Google AdWords. The combined audience of searchers is reported to be 159 million in the U.S. and 15 million in Canada.

The Yahoo! Search, Bing and search network partners will now represent 31.6 percent of the search market.

yahoobmw_side1.jpg Image used with permission from SeenSigns.com - thanks!

If you are a Yahoo! Search Marketing account holder, here are their suggestions on what to do right now.

Sign-in to your Yahoo! Search Marketing account and click on the new adCenter tab to begin migrating your campaigns.

  • Review your campaign compatibility report. Features of the two bidding engines are different so Yahoo have provided two PDFs to download. A transition checklist and a feature comparision guide.

  • Choose to create a new adCenter account OR enable your current adCenter account. You can use their transition tool, but all campaigns states will replicate, meaning active campaigns will start spending immediately. Equally paused campaigns will stay paused. You know the drill!

  • Continue managing your Yahoo! Search Marketing advertising account to sustain traffic from Yahoo! Search until mid-october when the paid search integration is expected to be completed. Both companies report that they are on target for this deadline, however have reserved the right to postpone the final transition if they foresee any kind of complication which may impact sales over the holiday season.

If you are an Microsoft adCenter account holder, there is not much to do, but here is what they suggest on their community blog.

  • Start optimizing your campaigns to run on Yahoo! Search by updating your keyword list to target actual query volume on Bing. Use the Microsoft Advertising Intelligence and Bing Toolbox tool to dig deep into keyword specific metrics.

Some of our resident PPC experts on SearchEngineWatch also had some suggestions. Frank Watson suggested that users check out the adExcellence videos. Alex Cohen highlighted some detailed and interesting advice on how to handle the transition from the Rimm Kaufman group blog. In a nutshell, they suggest 'bidding the averages' - namely, dropping your ppc bids slightly on Bing to counter a relative decline in traffic quality and ROI, as Yahoo traffic joins the adCenter paid search network.

But that's hypothetical - you need to do whatever works for you. Either way, the rubber just hit the road.


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