Yahoo Sponsored Search Version 3 (Part 2)

Let’s recap:

Yahoo! Japan was faced with a situation where the already insufficient Panama Platform was at a point it was going to be scrapped by Yahoo Inc. If Yahoo Inc is going to start using Microsoft’s AdCenter it was obvious to everyone they would not keep updating the Panama Platform that Yahoo! Japan was using. Would Yahoo! Japan go with an untested SEM platform that Microsoft itself wasn’t even using in Japan for Bing? Or would they build their own in the alloted time? Yahoo! Japan is actually capable of creating their own platform. They have built their own mobile platform & content platform called Interest Match, so I don’t want anyone thinking they can’t build it’s a matter of can they build in time?
There are rumors that the talks between Yahoo! Inc & Yahoo Japan didn’t exactly go the way Yahoo Inc expected it. (Again this is a rumor). It was after that that Yahoo! Japan made an unprecedented decision in the Search World. Yahoo! Japan decided to get it’s new platform custom build off of Adwords. Yep Google Adwords technology. That was  announced around early summer 2010 finally the new platform Sponsored Search ver3 started it’s migration on November 8th. We couldn’t make any changes to accounts like 2 weeks before that.
The Migration from Panama Platform
Let me tell you the migration didn’t go perfect for everyone. Many search agencies & top advertisers use third party tools to control their ad bid rules & for reporting purposes. Someone forgot to check certain parameters in the development cycle because after the migration all third party SEM tools couldn’t connect with Yahoo’s new platform. When you are the person who is in charge of setting up the SEM tools for all accounts & all of them can’t connect I guarantee you there’s hours wasted trying to figure out what went wrong.
Initially they actual way to setup third party tools changed. We thought that after this give it a day or two & the data could be backfilled. Some accounts connected, some didn’t. All of the accounts had zero data the next day. All had trouble getting any data via API queries. This basically increased any SEM ad managers workload if your agency or your company utilized third party tools.
Also some of the guidelines changed with the transition. Some people may not have noticed but if you had disapproved ads you noticed. All in all any could say that the migration could have been handled but when you are replacing an entire advertising platform that is pumping million of dollars a day in media spends, could you have done any better? I feel the migration had mishaps but I think Yahoo! Japan and even the third party tool makers were trying to resolve most problems as soon as they could.
In Part 3 we’ll go over the actual system.

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Yahoo Japan Sponsored Search ver 3 Part 1

Yahoo Sponsored Search Version 3 (Part 1)

Yahoo! Japan has recently migrated to a new platform in November 2011. I’ve decided to wait over a month to use the new system & write a review of it. Truthfully there are not too many nonJapanese in the SEM industry in Japan compared to roles in advertising. This is one of the main reasons why there isn’t a lot of information that a migration even took place.
Background on the migration:
Yahoo Inc (US) and Yahoo! Japan are two separate companies that share the same branding. Yahoo is not number one in the US but Yahoo! Japan is top dog in Japan. Yahoo! Japan and it’s parent company Softbank also has vast investments in plenty of Japan tech companies. Over two years when it was announced that Yahoo Search would get bought by Microsoft & powered by Bing’s ad platform AdCenter.
At that point Yahoo! Japan was utilizing Yahoo Inc’s Panama platform without much bells & whistles. I can list quite a few issues that we had with the old Panama Platfom.
1. The time was set in concrete to US time. That means that your daily spend would actually end at like 5pm Japan time & reset after that. This made no sense to any of us.
2. Reports were very limited. The platform had like 3 useful reports. Keyword reports, daily reports, & Campaign reports. Other than the keyword report there wasn’t an option to get average positions. There wasn’t a Query report.
3. No Dayparting
4. There was an option to block sites but no option to pull data to see the various sites your ads were being served on.
5. Maintenance was done a few times during our work day but in the night in the US.
6. Reporting access didn’t really exist. You gave access to the whole account.
7. Importing had to be done in one format in excel. You’d beat yourself silly doing an upload till you figure this one out.
Although the system was bad Yahoo! Japan does have a top notch sales staff working for them. While Yahoo! Japan needed many changes to have a better system it just seemed like Yahoo Inc didn’t feel the need to make the system more efficient for Japan. Yahoo! Japan leases the technology from Yahoo Inc.
Yahoo! Japan has a steady growth in Japan & it very profitable. Microsoft’s AdCenter was at that point in time not utilized in any Asia Pacific country. This basically means it was untested in any double byte language territory. At that point I believed that they had two options.
Build their own or use Microsoft’s AdCenter. Building their own was something that I believe Yahoo! Japan has already started to do but with the timing I don’t think a sufficent system could be finished in time. The other option was to use AdCenter. I believe most would think that Bing is in Japan so AdCenter is not truly untested in Asia. Well Bing Japan gets it’s ads from Yahoo! Japan. It doesn’t serve ads from AdCenter either.
What happened next?
Find out in our next post…