Google Adwords or Yahoo Search Marketing?

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It is hard to imagine internet without the search engines such as Google and Yahoo. In fact, one of the most important factors behind the popularity of the internet is the ease with which an endless amount of data can be searched through via online search engines.

It is these search engines which offer a lucrative opportunity for businesses to market their products. At most times, the returns you get by using search engines for marketing is much better than by utilizing much more expensive traditional media such as television and radio.

Both Google and Yahoo have their own pay-per-click programs. Google’s pay-per-click program is called Google Adwords and Yahoo’s pay-per-click program is popularly known as Overture or Yahoo Search Marketing.

Both these pay-per-click programs have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a comparative look at these two search engine giants and their pay-per-click services.

The primary factor associated with any pay-per-click is the cost. The Yahoo Search Marketing program’s lowest bid is ten cents while the same for Google Adwords is $0.05.

But the advantage with Yahoo is that you have to pay only one penny more than the next highest bidder. For example, if you’ve bid at $3.00 per click and the next highest bidder has bid at $1.20, then you would have to pay only $1.21.

Google Adwords, on the other hand, does not allow such transparency. Also, Yahoo Search Marketing allows you to see what the competitors are bidding, which can help you to set your budget accordingly. But Google Adwords’ policy does not reveal any information about  your  competitors.

The biggest advantage Google Adwords has over Yahoo Search Marketing is its complex algorithm. While Yahoo places a higher bidder on a higher rank, you could get placed higher on Google Adwords if the click-through rate is better, even though the bid may be lower. This is a significant advantage and it fairly balances the other disadvantages of Google Adwords.

But the click-through rate has a flip-side too. While chances of an ad getting dropped are very rare in the case of a low click-through on Yahoo, Google Adwords regularly drops ads which have faired poorly with users. This policy can be very annoying for some advertisers, but really it is a way of ensuring high quality of ads.

Also, it gives your ads the chance of ranking higher if they achieve a good click-through rate, so it acts as an inducement to encourage marketers to try and make their ads as effective.

Now let’s talk about the simplicity of both these pay-per-click programs. Google Adwords allows you to select the language and the country you want to target. All this can be done by using a simple drop down menu but this feature is not available in Yahoo Search Marketing. You’ll need to register separately for each country and language and there are only twenty countries available in Yahoo Search Marketing.

When you consider that Google has a far wider reach than Yahoo the balance seems to tip in favour of Google Adwords, but ambitious marketers will want to diversify their ad reach even further by investing some of their budget in a proven pay-per-click ad service such as Yahoo Search Marketing.


I have been marketing online for 30 years helping people do it right with education, and list building tools and procedures.