Buying Traffic Pay Per Click – Google vs Yahoo

Comments on Google vs Yahoo on Flash and seo.

I saw the following in my email, and thought that the writer below had some good thoughts on pay per click advertising. But on reading further it was obvious that some parts of what was being discussed was misleading and fairly opinionated ( read non-factual ) . The author was saying that Google’s search bot has no ability to read or decipher a site made entirely in flash. Thus concluding that one should never build sites with flash. While there was some truth in that statement before, it is not true at all, and one needs to be careful about saying never, especially when it comes to Google and technology.

Using flash judiciously along with rich text formatting is in truth the methodology best suited to building sites that will be appealing to both search engines and users.

The part of the post that i take great exception to is where our friend attempts to categorize Google and Yahoo. He says that Google is business to business while Yahoo is mostly for consumers. My own adwords and Overture campaigns campaigns say that this **fact** depends on the sector being discussed.

In general, I have said before that Google’s popularity can work against it.

People use Google to research everything. Those researchers who have very little intention to buy or subscribe to products will click on the paid ads at the top and the right side of the screen. This click action is particularly prevalent for the number 1 thru 3 pay for click listings.

So, Click, click, Click – Kaching in the Google bank account. Even competitors will occasionally click, click, click to research what their market sector is doing and to intentionally run up the bill, particularly when the click is a 3-10 dollar click as the first position in a highly competitive area can be.

So, lets look at Yahoo. How does the googling help your Yahoo ad results.
Well, it stands to reason that if more research is done on google, that less research is done on Yahoo, right? Perhaps, but that statement neither defines nor truly aids in the resolution of the problem.

Studies ( yep with real stats ) using real money on the same ads in both google and yahoo have shown that people interested in the same market segments, when using both engines, appeared to respond differently when searching for the same item. For B2B ( Business to business ) we frequently saw less research and more action occurring in our yahoo ads resulting in consistent $35 conversions in Yahoo vs $54 in Google after all the tuning could be done – 2007. Note this was before Yahoo’s latest set of changes which allow even more tuning.

So, our opinions, on this, differ strongly from that of the author who wrote the text below ( More pointers for a good search engine listing ).

While none of us may be entirely correct, ad campaigns run on both search engines do seem to consistently show that the sectors that do well on Yahoo or Google consistently outperform on the particular search engine platform that they do well on. Demographics of the searching audience, increased competition on Google driving the adword pricing up? Perhaps a combination of these and more.

So for limousines and taxi services my Google ads outgun Overture consistently while many of my business to business ad-campaigns on Overture outperformed my similar Google ads by a margin which has to be seen to be believed.

Below is the email that i received a little while back.

More pointers for a good search engine listing

Worse, website designers are still building sites with Flash. Flash is great. Flash is startling. It looks terrific as all those images come cascading in a blizzard of light, shade and colour. The only problem is – guess what? – the robots can’t figure it out. They are puzzled, bemused, unable to grasp what is going on. The result is that they go somewhere else, probably to a site where the designer has laid everything out on a simple plate for them.

Until the search engine programmers figure out a way to write algorithms that understand Flash presentations, the simple, no-nonsense, text-based sites will continue to win hands down. And by that I mean they will continue to win good listings. Which is the object of the exercise.

To be fair, however, the great majority of web designers have no abiding interest in search engine optimization. They figure that their job is to build a site that is both attractive and interesting. It is therefore up to the site owner to lay down a few rules when commissioning a build – no Frames, no animated gifs and, above all no Flash.

Is Google really the greatest?

And finally, folks, a word about the search engines themselves.

Everybody wants to get a good listing on Google. To them, Google is the be all and end all and that there really is nowhere else to be. What they tend to overlook is that the so-called lesser engines are equally good at pulling business if they are fed properly.

I have a client who receives 80% of his Internet business (which is substantial) via Yahoo, on which he is No 1 for all four of his search terms. Google does very little for him. Why should that be? It’s because, when you get down to it, Yahoo is a consumer-oriented engine and Google is predominantly a commercial or business-to-business engine. And his business is geared to the consumer market.

I know that many seo elitists will take issue with me about the efficacy of this statement. So be it. But I will get my retaliation in first by saying that (a) their argument will have to be damn good to convince me and (b), I don’t really care what they say.

My own comment on this is that, its very difficult for the average user to discern what is real and not real when there are so many passionate half correct seo consultants publishing information that appears correct.

For the longest time a desperate customer could get an unethical seo person to literally spam (via blackhat techniques ) yahoo and get away with it. Though yahoo might disagree with me, at this time 2008, I think its still possible to spam yahoo and msn and to a large degree, get away with it. Doing the same with Google requires more work. Enough work that, one might as well just do it the right way.