Yahoo Highlights Problems With Top Ad Placement

    June 17, 2008

A search engine company might be expected to stress the importance of ad placement – "stay on top," it would urge, with the related message "pay us lots of money" remaining unsaid.  But Yahoo’s taking a more honest route and pointing out that it isn’t always necessary to own the number one spot.

Ever hear of a Pyrrhic victory?  The lesson starts there, with Noah Belson, a content quality analyst, writing, "Though it’s always nice to be number one, if you use up your entire daily budget with three clicks, is it really worth it?"  He then continues, "When you’re managing a limited budget, you may want to set your bids at reasonable levels that will stretch your funds further and allow your ads to display for a longer amount of time throughout the day."

On the Yahoo Search Marketing Blog, Belson also suggests that you stick to the keywords that work best.  "For some keywords the only reward you’ll get for top placement is bragging rights," he points out.  "Highly competitive but very general keywords often wind up being expensive and poorly converting – truly, the worst of both worlds."

Paying for the top spot if you can get just as many conversions from a lower position will prove similarly wasteful.

Perhaps these tips will help you; perhaps you’ll see them as commonsense conclusions.  Regardless, they’re interesting considering the source, and given the recent Yahoo-Google agreement, the timing is noteworthy, as well.