SEMs crave more search ad competition, eye MS-Yahoo

Advertisers would benefit from a more balanced competitive environment.

If Microsoft acquires Yahoo, the search engine ad market could gain a viable and sorely needed competitor to Google, but only if the post-merger integration is done with speed and precision.

That's the opinion of several search engine marketing (SEM) firms with experience helping clients design and manage campaigns on the Google, Yahoo and Microsoft search ad platforms.

As things stand now, Google has an overwhelming dominance of this market thanks to the massive popularity of its search engine, which gives its ads a wider and deeper distribution reach that dwarfs that of Microsoft and Yahoo.

Inevitably, most search ad budgets are devoted to Google campaigns, but advertisers would benefit from a more balanced competitive environment in which an alternative ad platform isn't discarded as an option purely on the basis of its limited reach, those interviewed said.

"We feel that a successful acquisition and integration of their [Microsoft's and Yahoo's] offerings offers the potential of forming a credible competitor to Google," said Noah Elkin, vice president of corporate strategy for digital marketing firm Steak Media.

This is important, especially now that Yahoo may outsource its search advertising business to Google. "The dominance of any one company in a given area is not good for the industry. We believe that competition is key to delivering value to advertisers," Elkin wrote via e-mail.

Search advertising is the largest segment of the overall online ad market, accounting for about 40 percent of spending in the U.S. last year, according to IDC. Google nabbed almost 80 percent of the about US$10.2 billion spent in search ads in the U.S. in 2007, followed by Yahoo with about 12 percent and Microsoft with 6 percent, according to IDC.

Anna Sebestyen, a freelance search marketer, works primarily with small and medium-size clients whose search ad budgets are smaller than those of large companies, so the opportunity to give Yahoo and Microsoft a shot at clients' campaigns is more limited.

"I give a chance to MSN and Yahoo whenever I can to see the specific reaction in a certain campaign, but my tests so far have shown that my clients' money is better spent, ROI is higher -- with the limited budget they have -- on Google, currently," she said via e-mail.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?