Light Sabers at the Ready! The "Empire" Is On the Move.

In the world of search, the primary competitors are Google and Yahoo!, and no matter what the situation is, one is always trying to out-do the other. The most recent resurgence of this on-going power struggle is Google’s retaliation to Yahoo!’s third-party import tool. As part of the roll out of the Panama interface, Yahoo! included the option for advertisers to take existing campaigns (namely Google Ad Words campaigns) and push them in–no questions asked. At the onset, this sounded like a great idea, especially for those wayward search marketers who had all but given up on Yahoo! It’s no surprise that Google hasn’t taken this lightly. In my mind, Google’s first move (while it wasn’t directly connected) was the mandatory switch to Ad Words Editor. This changed the mindset of advertisers away from bulk spreadsheets to the “ease of use” allowed with a desktop program. In recent weeks there have been numerous mentions of Google’s “real” retaliation. By what means, you ask? According to one blog post, the “Revenge of the Ad Words Editor” is how your account is translated into a downloadable .csv spreadsheet. Column headers have been added or moved–and supposedly Yahoo!’s people are scrambling to try to keep up.This kind of behavior is by no means new. However, I find it interesting (educational?) to be in the middle of this “battle of the titans.” My thanks to the Search Marketing Gurus for instilling in me the association Google=Darth Vader. May the farce be with you.Has anyone else noticed quirky problems in trying to import a Google bulk spreadsheet into Yahoo!’s new Panama interface? If Google is Darth Vader, what does that make Yahoo!?