Even though the evidence is clear that search marketing is the leading force in online advertising, Google and Yahoo are both enhancing their advertising offerings beyond search. Google just announced that they will allow advertisers to bid separately on search and content ads. (Previously search and content bids were combined.) Their content network consists of topic-specific news pages, websites, and blogs, while the search ads appear on keyword-specific search engine results pages. Google’s blog explains the new system:
Yesterday, we released content bids. This feature will allow you to place one bid (or maximum CPC) for ads that run on search sites and an entirely separate bid for ads running on content sites within the Google Network. In addition, we’ll now evaluate your keywords for content targeting separately, ensuring that we’re able to target your ads as accurately as possible on the content network.
The Quick Online Tips blog says the separation will give advertisers “more control and flexibility??? in managing their campaigns. While reaction to the move in the blogosphere was mostly positive, blogger Aaron Wall thinks Google’s changes to the content network are too sudden:
How they can have such a large network and then just randomly announce that effective now things are changed? Some advertisers who do not log into their accounts in the next few days may come back from their holiday break to see a ton of formerly disabled overpriced content clicks killing their ROI.
At the same time, Yahoo is introducing a program that will enable advertisers to buy space in RSS feeds from blogs and other content sites. From the Web Marketing Blog:
The new program allows publishers to place ad listings within RSS feeds that are relevant to the content of the feed in general, or to a particular post… (You won’t see the ads on the blog itself, only on the RSS feed.)
Read more about Google’s changes to the content network and Yahoo’s RSS ad program.