On the New Yahoo Ad Sizes

    December 21, 2005

Yahoo’s text ad length will be getting shorter in January, as we found in a recent communication from the company.

The night of the announcement, some colleagues had a brief scare seeing the new ad format being tested at Yahoo Search. Without enough lead time to compensate, carefully-crafted ads would have their calls to action truncated by the new shorter length.

Speculation as to the motivation includes the thought that Yahoo Search Marketing wants to make it easier for existing Google advertisers to simply patch their campaigns over to Yahoo. Probably that is part of it, but more than that, it’s likely revenue-driven. It might even be aesthetically driven. A more economical look might be getting better reviews from ordinary search engine users.

There are enough differences between the AdWords and Y!SM platforms that a simple “patch-over” is not usually going to do the trick, in any case. For now, Y!’s platform is difficult enough to use that a typical advertiser is spending more time on a campaign that generates half the volume (or less) as a Google AdWords campaign.

Andrew Goodman is Principal of Page Zero Media, a marketing consultancy which focuses on maximizing clients’ paid search marketing campaigns.

In 1999 Andrew co-founded Traffick.com, an acclaimed “guide to portals” which foresaw the rise of trends such as paid search and semantic analysis.