Dear Carol, You have got a lot of work to do to be "Awesome"

By Tad Miller | Feb 26, 2009
More Articles by Tad

After seeing new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz latest Blog post on the Yahoo Yodel Anecdotal Blog I couldn’t help but respond in the comments.  Bartz says:

I’m singularly focused on providing you with awesome products. Period. The kind that get you so excited, you have to tell someone about them. Whether on your desktop, your mobile device, or even your TV.

And that takes a real understanding of what you want/need/love/hate, how you’re using our products, and what you find simple, intuitive, easy and fun. Who wants innovation for innovation’s sake if it doesn’t make your life easier, more efficient, more productive? So expect us to hear you better and take better care of you.

I couldn’t help but respond about the failings of Yahoo Sponsored Search and the lack of transparency into its traffic data.

You have a very long way to go on making Yahoo Sponsored Search an “Awesome Product”. It is not intuitive either.

If you want it to be an awesome product then you need to give advertisers transparency tools that allow them to fix what’s broken with the traffic Sponsored Search is giving them.

Every Sponsored Search user needs access to “Subphrase” reports that show the actual search queries that trigger their ads. Right now only Advertisers with big budgets and account managers can “request” these.

You also need to come clean with the traffic sources for sponsored search. It’s been reported that as much as 55% of sponsored search traffic isn’t even coming from searches done on You have some very questionable search network partners that are not delivering quality traffic and advertisers need the ability to see what traffic is coming outside of searches on and what those websites are so we can exclude them if they don’t provide any value.

Your content network is rife with click fraud and honestly doesn’t deliver traffic that provides results for advertisers. Advertisers need Placement reports to see which Yahoo content network sites are providing them traffic and all the details surrounding that traffic. We need this to EXCLUDE these content partners from delivering us bad traffic. Until you do this we will always tell our clients not to use Yahoo Content Matching.

I also want the ability to use both Advanced match and Standard match at the same time and bid different amounts for each. Advanced Match is a little too “advanced” in that it often broadly matches to keywords I would never want to advertise on. Again all need the ability to see the search queries that Advanced Match is showing our ads on.

We have MANY clients that have stopped using Yahoo Sponsored search because of poor traffic quality. Allowing this kind of transparency into what Yahoo is doing with their advertising is the only way you will ever win them back.

She says she is creating a new Customer Advocacy Group to “make sure we’re all hearing the voice of our customers (consumers and advertisers).”

Carol strikes me as a take charge kind of gal.  So get it done girl and make Sponsored Search an Awesome product.  We’ll be waiting to see if she can get it done.

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