October 13, 2008
One thing is certain, when Yahoo! launched the new Search Marketing platform (aka “Panama”), it signaled the death of Content Match. At least as I knew it. Before the upgrade, I generated pretty substantial results (in terms of traffic/conversions generated). After the upgrade, the big CM went belly up. So, it’s with a grain of salt that I take in Yahoo!’s optimistic announcement of their Content Match improvements. My skepticism aside, I’m actually intrigued (and somewhat hopeful) that this is true. If Yahoo! has indeed improved Content Match, I may very well begin spending more time and money there.
OK, on second thought don’t move my skepticism aside. In Yahoo!’s announcement, they state that the core of their upgrade is “better matching for higher click-through rates.”
Content Match now combines a better understanding of web page and ad content with insights from users’ geographic and behavioral profiles.
If you’re looking for anything more concrete than that, you better keep looking. The announcement is full of generalized statements and non-descript testimonials of already-improved performance. “This combination can lead to more relevant clicks.” OK. “…we’ve generally seen increases in Content Match click-through-rates…” Sure. And my favorite? “After learning that Yahoo! had made improvements to its matching technology, it’s clear that it’s been part of what has driven this overall effectiveness.” Sounds like convenient PR to me.
From that point on, Yahoo! reverts to their ever-so-helpful tone, and actually provides some helpful tips on optimizing for Content Match. But what about hard facts, real stats from advertisers who’ve seen a boost in their Content Match performance? I for one have seen zero improvement – either in CTR or conversions. Honestly, what I really want from Yahoo! is more content inventory. I’ve got a few campaigns that have exceptional bids (defined: high, pricey, expensive) that receive ZERO clicks. It’s a shame. I’m willing to spend money, but they just don’t have the goods to offer.
So, maybe I’m just flying off the handle. Maybe I’m reading too much into this Yahoo!-PR-Machine announcement. You tell me – have you actually seen an improvement in your Content Match performance? Do you have some stats that you would like to share?