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Yahoo! SEM Product Changes

Yahoo! used their recent Ad Forum in Sunnyvale, CA to unveil some new (and old) search products they have been testing. Some of these products definitely show Yahoo!’s new focus on transparency and control.

Without further delay, here are some of the products and features that were announced:

With these products and features, Yahoo! is definitely making an investment in search engine marketing. Search marketers everywhere are holding their collective breath to hear the plans for the Yahoo!/Microsoft agreement. What we do know about the partnership:

  1. Microsoft will be spearheading the engineering for the search algorithm and SEM interface.
  2. Yahoo! will be handling sales and support.
  3. Search is the only thing that will transition (display is not part of the deal).
  4. Timing is still up in the air, but the earliest transition would be Q3 2010.
  5. The whole deal is subject to regulatory approval.

With a larger Microsoft engineering force expected to deliver on innovation, Yahoo! has changed to an offensive strategy in search. If, and only if, Yahoo! and Microsoft do this right, then these product features (and future features) will mean a legitimate 2nd option to Google in search advertising. SEM agencies and individual advertisers alike may need to diversify even more than they are today. Those staying informed about this partnership and about Yahoo! products will be better equipped to capitalize on any market share shifts that result from this product innovation.