THE RKGBLOG

Yahoo squeaks ahead of Google in the American Consumer Satisfaction Index.

I’m helping organize an open enrollment executive education course on online marketing at UVA’s Darden School this fall. Come learn about online marketing from the people, companies, and academics shaping tomorrow’s web.

As 2007 is now half over, it seems a good time to compare the performance of the Big Three search engines year-to-date.

Google continues to comprise three-fourths of our agency’s total monthly PPC spend. In June, Yahoo held steady, while Microsoft picked one point of share from Google.

The Times Online reports rumors of Yahoo acquiring MySpace.

Big changes at Yahoo.

Yahoo clarifies quality.

We review May 2007 ad spend data for our agency. Google continues to dominate, with three fourths share. Google lost one point of share each to Yahoo and Microsoft. This small downward blip marks the first month in the last four in which Google did not gain share.

Yesterday Yahoo announced they are opening up the API to their new search platform (aka “Panama”). I caught up with Dan Boberg, Yahoo’s Managing Director of Sales Technology by phone yesterday to talk about this API announcement.

AP reports Yahoo paid Semel $80m in ’06.

April showed Google seizing yet more share from Yahoo, with Microsoft holding steady in distant third.

Yahoo confirmed our suspicion that since geo-targeting locates a user by IP address, if an IP address cannot be determined, the user goes into an “Unknown” bucket. Thus ad campaigns limited to “US Only” are not visible to these Unknowns, and traffic drops off; Unknowns are only served ads from campaigns set to “Entire Market”.

Google grabbed the DoubleClick deal. Here are revised observations and prognostications.

“Building awareness around their client’s credit card program through search is just as useful as one that drives users to sign up for the program”? I’m dubious.

Yahoo’s LiveSearch over at AllTheWeb uses AJAX to build search results pages on the fly, as you type.

Microsoft has released Strider Search Ranger, which helps content advertisers determine the IPs of the “publishers” snarfing up their ad budgets.

It is neat to revisit a topic area after some time away and note quantum improvements in search relevance.

In February, Yahoo aggressively took back share from Google, returning to Jan 2006 levels. Digging into our largest 50 accounts, the average percentage change in Google ad spend from Jan ‘07 to Feb ‘07 was up 8%. Their average percentage change in Yahoo ad spend over the same period was up 24%

Match types are a critical — but too often overlooked — aspect of paid search. Put time and testing into your match type decisions — you’ll be well rewarded for it.

Yahoo Pipes is a beta Yahoo service that allows non-programmers to create RSS mashups.

The following graph shows Yahoo conversion rates (green) and Yahoo click through rates (blue) climbing in the waning months of 2006, indexed relative to Google.

While two months don’t constitute a trend, and while the last two months don’t staunch the tremendous loss of share Yahoo suffered from Google over 2006, it is interesting to see that the arrival of Panama coincided with two upward months in ad spend share in Yahoo’s favor.

The venerable Yahoo Search Suggestion Tool is back, for now at least.

Yahoo has started campaigning Firefox users to change their default search engine from Google to Yahoo. Big big money at stake.

In a play for ad revenue, Google is making the world’s information slightly less universally accessible and slightly less useful. On December 5th, Google quietly stopped accepting new sign-ups for the Google SOAP Search API.