Yahoo implements new search feature to attract users, advertisers
It’s no secret that Yahoo has lost a considerable amount of stock in the eyes of both consumers and advertisers. Once the world’s most popular search engine, it has lost considerable ground to competitors over the past decade. First Yahoo lost ground to Google, which, according to comScore, now accounts for a commanding 65 percent of the total queries conducted, and now Bing, Microsoft’s relative newcomer that now powers Yahoo.
Still, the company is determined to maintain a strong presence in the search engine landscape. In an effort to draw back both users and advertisers, Yahoo has launched a new search feature called Search Direct. This function essentially acts like Google’s Instant feature, suggesting possible queries for consumers as they enter their searches into the portal.
According to Shashi Seth, Yahoo’s senior vice president of search and marketplaces, the new feature was developed primarily with advertisers in mind. As users type in their searches, a separate pop-up window will appear with the suggested queries, which can be leveraged by advertisers through sponsored suggestions.
“We’ve been thinking deeply about how we can engage with advertisers in this environment,” Seth told ClickZ. “These products don’t exist as we speak but we’ve been testing with brands and agencies to figure out how to best implement them.”
Will Search Direct bring in new users?
Search Direct is scheduled to roll out to American users over the course of March and more details about the specifics of the platform will be made available then as well. But whether or not the new feature will create any meaningful change in the way advertisers direct traffic to their small business websites is a subject for debate among many experts.
Yahoo’s relevancy in the paid search marketing landscape has slid considerably over the past few years. In 2008, 13.7 percent of paid search revenues were allocated to Yahoo, according to eMarketer. By the end of 2012, that number is expected to decline even further to 6.5 percent, while budgets allocated to Bing and Google are expected to grow to 11.1 percent and 76.7 percent, respectively.
“Much of the decline in Yahoo’s search business is a result of Bing’s rise,” explains eMarketer analyst Stephanie Reese. “EMarketer estimates Microsoft’s share of overall US search ad revenues increased to 10.2 percent last year – just shy of Yahoo’s.”
Other marketing experts agree, arguing that Yahoo essentially threw in the towel on the search market in 2009, when the company announced a new 10-year partnership with Microsoft. Since then, it has struggled to keep up with innovations from both Bing and Google.
“Yahoo sold itself to the devil when it allowed Bing to power the back-end of its search engine,” Jason Hennessey, CEO at SEO agency Everspark Interactive, told MediaPost. “In 2009, Yahoo had a 29 percent market share, and Google a 63 percent market share. In the past two years, Google has continued to innovate in local search, whereas Yahoo essentially gave up.”
Opportunities on Yahoo
Still, it’s important for small businesses to recognize any existing opportunities on Yahoo. Because Google reaches such a broad audience, it is more difficult to rank highly on the search engine as most companies optimize for that search engine specifically.
Entrepreneurs may be able to get higher placement and less expensive paid search listings if they instead opt for Yahoo. The search engine, after all, does still account for more than 2 billion of the queries performed by Americans every month.This entry was posted in Search Marketing. Bookmark the permalink.