Navigating The Microsoft And Yahoo Alliance

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Uncertainty about the Microsoft and Yahoo search integration and a host of unanswered questions have advertisers trying to sort through paid search marketing on engines. Even sophisticated marketers want clarity and affirmation on best practices. A white paper published by Clickable on Friday hopes to clarify some of the challenges.

Some advertisers want information on budget allocations during the next month as Yahoo campaigns move to Bing. Others want to know how match types or billing will change.

"Prior to the alliance, Clickable made general allocation suggestions for ad investments across the three major networks," says Max Kalehoff, VP of marketing at Clickable. "Not much has changed. Prior to the alliance, we suggested 70% of the budget on Google, 20% on Yahoo and 10% Bing. Now we recommend 70% on Google and 30% on Bing and Yahoo."

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Microsoft and Yahoo have been communicating information on the change, but Kalehoff believes companies underestimate the behavioral implications associated with a major move similar to this. As soon as Nov. 1, the Yahoo and Microsoft Search Alliance will go into effect for paid advertising -- and more than a partnership between Internet pioneers, it represents an enormous opportunity for online marketers, according to the white paper.

When Google launched Google Instant, there was speculation and anxiety on how it would change search engine optimization or paid-click advertising. Thousands of search marketeers will make the transition (or you can add) to Microsoft adCenter from Yahoo's paid-search platform. Sometimes advertisers need to take a wait-and-see approach before discovering that changes will not turn into a crisis as first believed.

Although allocating budgets should not appear to be rocket science, companies may underestimate the importance of behavioral changes associated with the transition. When people are familiar with doing something a certain way for so long, they become creatures of habit and don't make the change until they stare it in the face, Kalehoff says.

Rather than wait for an official "Go Live" date, advertisers can transfer or create new accounts on Microsoft Advertising adCenter at any time, and pause them until adCenter begins serving ads on Yahoo as well as Bing. There are numerous ways to transition accounts to Microsoft Advertising adCenter. Clickable, however, suggests transferring existing Google AdWords accounts to adCenter using AdWords Editor. The white paper steps through the process.

A section on billing also steps through that process. Advertisers will now manage all Yahoo and Bing search ads on Microsoft Advertising adCenter, so all billing for Search Alliance accounts will be handled by Yahoo. For advertisers that pay for a Yahoo Search Marketing account using a credit card, the account will transfer automatically. Those advertisers will not have to do anything else. The process is slightly different if the advertiser gets an invoice, which the white paper also explains.

 

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