Microsoft and Yahoo provided an update to the transition from Yahoo Search to adCenter on Thursday. Rob Wilk, national director of search optimization & Strategy at Yahoo, and Rathna Sharad, group product manager at Microsoft, and others were on hand to answer questions.
As part of the search alliance, Bing algorithms will support both paid and organic search. Bing estimates serving up more than 1.8 billion monthly searches and 2.6 billion through Yahoo. After the transition all paid search advertisers will use adCenter to manage traffic on Bing and Yahoo. The group said quality comes first and foremost. They discussed many important bits of information during a Search Marketing Now Web presentation sponsored by Marin Software.
Wilk told the audience that if "we can't do this with quality that maintains your volume and ROI, as well as complete it by the holidays, we will push it out into 2011." At the start of the presentation, about 70% of the people tuning into the Webinar admitted they have a strategy in place to make the transition, but it became apparent during the question-and-answer session many questions remain unanswered. The Microsoft and Yahoo execs tried to answer as many as possible.
Marketers, for example, won't have the ability to bid on separate campaigns that run on Bing and Yahoo after the transition, but can create separate campaigns for Yahoo and Bing partners.
Paid search results will not look the same on both Yahoo and Bing, but the ranking order of the paid search ads will, though people might see slight differences in the presentation. For example, on Bing people might see three ads at the top part of the page where sponsored results display, but only see two on Yahoo.
When it came to reporting questions, some wanted to know if they would still have an option to access data from Panama after the transition. Yahoo will provide access to 13-months of historical data from Panama for at least six months from the date of the transition.
Executives at Microsoft and Yahoo have not determined the format information will display in adCenter, but marketers won't have an option to distinguish the traffic patterns from each engine. Some advanced analytics programs might identify the traffic in the logs. Reports will show a combined campaign, rather than clump some under Bing and the remainder in Yahoo.
As marketers move from Panama to adCenter the standard match type in Panama will map to the exact type in adCenter, where as the advanced match type in Panama will map to the broad match type in adCenter. Marketers with an existing Microsoft account and you don't choose to move Yahoo over than you're in good shape.
In the next version of adCenter, marketers will likely have the ability to maintain existing codes for conversion tracker and analytics tags previously used in Panama, eliminating the need to re-tag campaigns. Nothing has been finalized yet, but the companies are working on a solution. More details should come soon.
Marketers can expect to have the ability to capture revenue in the platforms tracking pixel, follow one combined policy for editorial and trademarks, and support several thousand negative keywords, which follows industry standards.
The adCenter Desktop tool will have upload and download improvements, importing capabiltiies, error handinging and reliability, custom data ranges, and installation upgrades. The companies expect the major investments in adCenter to pay off. Investments in adCenter include migration readiness, performance and scale; redesigned home page dashboard; editorial disapproal roll up; Web import options; reporting upgrades; removal of 92-day limit; and bidding match type in reports.