A Look At AdWords Conversions Versus Yahoo’s

    August 22, 2005

While all in-depth analyses should use a number of sources to present a point, it’s also beneficial to see how a respected member of the SEM community is fairing when using both advertising services.

Such is the case with Rand Fishkin, owner of the SEOMoz.org blog. In his latest post, Rand does a brief compare and contrast between the two competing services and his findings may surprise some people. To preface Rand’s findings, it is important to realize that he has managed a number of clients through both services, making his findings all the more pertinent.

By comparing the effectiveness of the various campaigns, Rand finds:

Yahoo! is consistently half the price, and double the ROI. The site’s conversion rate with visitors from the Yahoo! ads, which display on Yahoo!, MSN & several smaller engines are consistently outperforming the Google ads by a magnitude of double or better. These are the same ads, with the same landing pages and the same search terms. The cause is a mystery indeed, and I don’t want to chalk it up entirely to demographics (yet).

Rand goes on to say that Yahoo’s conversion rate hovers around 10%, while Google’s is under 5%. He also comments on the click-thru rate for each service, with Yahoo’s at healthy 7.5%, with Google weighing in at 4.5%. Not only does Yahoo perform better (from Rand’s observations), he also mentions the growing click fraud fear and how it relates to Google AdWords.

Is there any reason for his findings? Perhaps Rand is conducting campaigns that may perform better with Yahoo’s audience, although that explanation seems kind of thin. Could it be that Yahoo’s audience is just more apt to click and convert than Google’s? Considering how much money Google has made from its PPC service in recent years that certainly seems doubtful. Whatever the reason, Rand’s findings are this: with his clients, Yahoo Search Marketing converts better and has a higher CTR than does Google AdWords.

Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.