Yahoo Search Marketing In Singapore and Southeast Asia

Good evening guys,

Today will be about Yahoo! Sponsored Search in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

To make it easier to read, i divide this long post into sub sections as followed:

  • Yahoo Search Marketing: unique points
  • Yahoo Search Solution in the eye of Advertisers

1. Yahoo Search marketing: unique points

This may come as a surprise to many of you but Yahoo Keyword Search Marketing in Singapore and Southeast Asia region works on CPM model!
Ya, that’s right, it is on Cost per Metric thousand impressions basis.
So instead of being charged for every click/visitor that the search engine brings to your website, you are charged upon every thousand impressions that your ads appear.

This CPM model, as some of us may know, is only used for banner advertising but uniquely it is used for keyword search in Singapore and southeast Asia as well. Because of this “weird” pricing model, there are no quality score, no bidding etc etc.
If you want to advertise using Yahoo Search in Southeast Asia, you then have to go directly to Yahoo or any of its agencies. You will need to pay a lum sum of money for certain keywords over a period of time and then your ads will be guaranteed to be on Yahoo when users search for your keywords for that duration.

The ads is still IP targeted though, which means you still can target people in Singapore alone as compared to having to display your ads across Southeast Asia. However, the text ads format is quite bulky, it’s very long and the sponsored links occupy the majority of the page.
You can refer to the screen shot below as an example:

By displaying the ads this way, it’s very misleading to the end user since virtually for page 1, the first window, end users see all the sponsored results, only 1 or 2 natural search results.
Although Yahoo have been trying to claim that they control the quality of their ads tightly, but by all means, it makes their search results far more inferior compared to Google.
And by the way, how a few editors in Yahoo Singapore can say for sure that the ads that they link to specific keyword is what the end user is looking for. 😀
Only the end user can do that and they do it through clicking on the ads etc etc… and that how the whole quality score comes into the picture.
This and together with many other reasons, explains why yahoo has been losing search market share steadily in Singapore over the past 1 year.

Yahoo knows about the problem so the new Panama system is being employed but it’s not available in this region yet. I foresee that it might take another 6 months to 1 year for Yahoo to implement Panama in Singapore and the rest of the region. I might be wrong (it might happen sooner or later :P)

Another screenshot showcases the ads on Yahoo Singapore, taken 20:17, 22 Aug 07

Do you notice anything “weird” with that screen shot?

2. Yahoo Search solution in the eye of Advertiser

So what advertisers and online agencies think about Yahoo Search Marketing model?

I must say Yahoo Search is acceptable by quite a number of small and medium businesses in Singapore.
The CPM model makes it very easy to explain and understand. It works just like banner or normal ads on newspaper which is the concept people are familiar with.
For a percentage of these small businesses, Yahoo search marketing does work for them. The reason is simply because there are still people in Singapore who use Yahoo to search.
From what i know, these people tends to be older and less internet savvy compared to Google audience.
Working closely with Yahoo Singapore for about a year, i must say sometimes the ROI is quite high for some advertisers who use Yahoo Search.

However, most of the big boys, except for Dell, they don’t use Yahoo Search at all. The market share is smaller, the model is less flexible, there is no API access etc… which make Yahoo Search less visible and hence less attractive.
By the way, when i mean less flexible, it means you can’t change your keywords, creatives, budget etc… once everyday or every other weeks. Every time you want to change something you need to inform Yahoo and normally they will say No, unless you are Dell 😀 of course.

How about the rest of SouthEast Asia? Are there a lot of advertisers using Yahoo keyword Search marketing?
you can simply check by masking your IP address, or using Vietnamese, Thai or Malaysia proxy etc… I will leave that for those who are curious 😀

haha enough for those NOT so good stuff about Yahoo SouthEast Asia… Hang on guys, Yahoo Southeast Asia has been growing at an amazing rate over the past couple of years. (the actual rate you need to ask Yahoo Singapore itself 😀 The Director in charge is Mr. Tom Sipple)
The Yahoo portal itself attracts quite a number of big players from banking and finance, travel, tel co sectors…
Together with yahoo messenger, Yahoo blog 360, Yahoo finance and other properties, Yahoo is still growing in total sales revenue year after year. But this might change 🙂

So in short, what is it for advertiser?

If you never try Yahoo Search, you may want to try its once to see whether it works out for you.
You may want to start with very small budget at first and track the performance closely. The tracking part might be quite hard since you need to implement another tracking tool etc…
Or you can employ an agency to help you do this. You may never know if your industry is one of the few industries that “clicks” with Yahoo Search…

However, i strongly recommend that you start with Google Search Marketing first. It’s much better in my opinion and if you have tight budget, you can do it yourself. You can do both at the same time actually.

If you are in Indonesia or Vietnam, you should know for yourself, virtually no one is searching on Yahoo so you need to be careful where you should spend your money.

haha, seems like another long post guys. I still have so much to write about, but my flatmate she’s cooking something. It smells great!!! So that’s it for Yahoo Search Marketing.
Let’s end today here and see you tomorrow then 🙂


  1. even in india yahoo search marketing is not that great. but here it is bidding not cpm model. but it has very limited functionality and very cumbersome to manage. every time you have to ask your account manager to do even small changes in ads, or for adding keywords. but they are saying that panama is coming soon may be this year end it will be launched in India. waiting for panama to launch in india…I have worked on yahoo panama…it is very much similar to Google.

    nice post chandler..

  2. Thank you for the comment!

    You are the first haha so double the appreciation.

    And ya, i’ve had chance to look through the panama system and it seems to be better. However, far from robust like Google though. haha
    or may be i am too used to the Google way.

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