I got a good chuckle today. In 5 minutes time, I received two emails for two different accounts from Yahoo! Search Marketing this morning. The first one told me that my bids were too low, and the other reported that my ads are too low of quality. Wh-what? Yahoo! must think my PPC accounts suck!

Email 1: Your Bids are Lower on Average than Most of Your Competitors

Email 2: Low Ad Quality may be Causing You to Pay More

I’ll never admit to being perfect, but the two accounts in question are two of my strongest Yahoo! accounts. (Thus my chuckles upon receipt of the messages.) On the surface, these messages seem harmless and perhaps helpful. But again, my paranoid side has flared up a bit and I see Yahoo! trying to fill their coffers. I’ll explain both emails briefly:

On the first email, Yahoo! said, “…we recently noticed that your bids are much lower on average than your competitor’s, which could result in much lower traffic to your site.” Ok, so if I remember right, a big part of the whole PPC game is to actually TRY to get your bids lower than your competitors by improving CTR and leap-frogging their lesser quality ads with the Quality Index (Quality Score‘s little cousin). I’m driving a huge chunk of traffic. So I feel that this message is trying to use the guise of helpfulness to blind me to the fact that Yahoo! simply wants me to increase my bids. Further proof? The first recommendation in the email was to increase bids. The other suggestions are at least a touch helpful – improve ad quality (Duh! That’s how my bids are so low!) and expand keyword selection.

The second email stated, “…we recently noticed that your ad quality is lower on average than that of your competitors.” Now this is a message that I want to read. This is a piece of advice that comes from a level of visibility only Yahoo! has. And honestly, this concerns me. So the suggestions started off strong – create multiple ads and test them, include special offers and prices and strong calls-to-action (OK, I definitely practice what I preach, what else?). Then they started pushing DKI, which I feel is a CTR-bandaid (i.e. money maker). But they ended strong with suggestions on relevancy including geo-targeting and optimization strategy suggestions. I felt that my Quality Index scores were pretty good and that my ads and optimization strategy were pretty good – but in this case I guess I’ve got work to do?

So, weird day for me for Yahoo!. Weird choice of messaging. (OK, so I’m doing my worst Randy Jackson judging on American Idol impression.) One email was good, the other sent me off the deep end. I hate to be a one-trick-pony as I’ve complained about Yahoo! a lot lately, but seriously – what is Yahoo! up to?

Did anybody else get these messages today? If so, let me know!