Yahoo Pay per Click platform in SouthEast Asia (cont)

About 5 months ago, i blogged about whether the new Yahoo PPC platform in SouthEast Asia (Panama) is worth a try.
At that time, despite all of the difficulties i still recommended giving Yahoo Panama a try since the average cost per click (CPC) was very low.

Half a year went by and nothing was changed. Panama still has the same problem as before.

Exact Match Only

One of the things that frustrates me the most is the keyword matching option. In layman term, the ad only appear if users type in the exact search terms as your keywords.
Yet, you couldn’t add a lot of variations into the system because it says that many of your variations are covered by other keywords due to “broad match” option. Weird isn’t it?
But it’s actually true.
Myself and the team have been spending so much time to do keyword research, try to find different variations (long tailed keywords) to add them into Yahoo Panama platform. Obviously, when it comes to Pay Per Click, we know that the more long tail keywords you have, the better it is. However, for slightly less mature markets like SouthEast Asia, especially Singapore with limited numbers of online users compared to US or UK, sooner or later you will get frustrated with “Exact match” only option.

With limited ad targeting option, Yahoo actually shoots itself on the foot because advertisers have no way of spending more money with Yahoo. The volume of click throughs is just not there compared to the effort putting in.
I seriously don’t understand why such a fundamental thing can’t be solved quickly while Yahoo is literally throwing money out of the window trying to do branding, bringing in more people to its portal etc…

No “Adwords Editor” equivalent yet

I was informed by one of Yahoo account manager 6 months ago that the prototype of Adwords Editor was being built and it should be ready soon. Yet half a year later, nothing happens!
Luckily i am not the one who has to do the bulk editing with Yahoo Panama (Liz does it normally), otherwise i will get cranky easily.

Billing currency, Reporting Timezone

Well they all are the same as 5-6 months ago, which is a bit irritating because i can’t imagine how hard it could be to accept SGD especially when the headquarter for SouthEast Asia is in Singapore.

Conversion rate and Cost per conversion

To be fair, because of the low cost per click and somewhat targeted traffic due to “exact match” only option, the cost per conversion from Yahoo side tends to lower compared to Google.
The volume of conversion is not bad either but it’s only limited to brand terms. Most of the conversions i have for our clients are from brand terms or brand + product terms.
I believe most of the searches happening on Yahoo Singapore are brand related as well (this is unverified though).
Cost per conversion on Yahoo can be as low as 1/5 of that on Google for some cases.

Yahoo is losing search market share rapidly

Well, it’s sad but true.
A couple of years ago, Yahoo always had a good share of the search market in Singapore (about 30%+ based on Hitwise figure).
Google was gaining market share but at a very slow rate. It was true until like 6-8 months ago when i started to see a very drastic gain by Google.
According to Hitwise, the top 4 leading search engines based on Singapore Internet usage, ranked by volume of searches for the 24 weeks ending August 30, 2008 are below:

From the table, you can see that Google now has 67.55% and Yahoo only has 25.3%. That is a whopping 4-5% lesser than before.

In conclusion, my advices are:

  • Despite all the difficulties/issues working with Yahoo platform, Yahoo structural problem, hierarchy, it’s still profitable to use Yahoo Panama at this point in Singapore.
  • As for SouthEast Asia, it’s on a case by case basis because Yahoo doesn’t have much search volume in other countries.
  • However, don’t spend too much time optimize for Yahoo. You just copy everything from Google. The reason is because optimizing Yahoo campaign takes time and the volume of traffic is always very limited. Also at this rate of losing market share, it will become lesser and lesser attractive to advertise on Yahoo
  • I foresee that Yahoo search marketing will gradually fail just in SouthEast Asia, just like what happened in other markets unless there is some structural changes from Yahoo (including Human Resource issue)+ some basic changes in the same direction as Google (Adwords editor, ad targeting or keyword matching options etc…)

Do you agree?

Chandler

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