Tokyo Media War Facebook is attacking the City!!

I guess we’ll have to face it. This week we can officially say that Facebook will start to lay claim to the media market in Japan. I know that most you will immediately say to yourselves “Isn’t Facebook already in Japan?”. Well Yes but technically no, well not really. Continue reading “Tokyo Media War Facebook is attacking the City!!”

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…

Yahoo Japan Sponsored search Platform launch pushed till October

Yahoo! Japan which has been using the Yahoo! Inc platform Panama will finally migrate to a new system come mid October Yahoo Sponsored Search version 3. The technology backend is a modified version of Google’s own Adwords system but tweaked for Yahoo! Japan’s own requirements. The two company are not merged & will still be competitors in the Japanese market.

Yahoo Japan still dominates the search market but Google is not really far behind. Google Japan has been playing catchup & will carve it’s own niche in future markets especially Youtube, DSP, & Android technology. One problem for Google Japan was that it was often seen in Japan as a non Customer Support company but this year even by visiting the Google office myself I saw they are stepping up adding staff to help smaller companies. This is vital for Japan because Yahoo! Japan has had sales teams coordinating with smaller companies for years. I think this may have been the inspiration for them to launch the みんなのビジネスオンライン service that I discovered by accident.

The New platform will of course have a few changes such as

  • 4 match types instead of 2
  • Account daily spending cap will be eliminated
  • For mobile you may not target each carrier individually.
  • Agencies will have one login for all accounts.
  • Yahoo’s Keyword Suggestion Tool will be updated to include mobile stats

Yahoo! Japan will try to make the migration as simple as possible & will alert customers if there are any issues. Expect not to be able to upload new campaigns, keywords, or copy for about two weeks during the migration.


Yahoo Japan’s Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool stops updating stats

Yahoo's Keyword Tool
Who said the Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool was dead?

Yahoo’s Japan’s Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool has stopped updating stats finally it seems. Now I know quite a few of you are thinking this must be an old post or something that was just reposted from 2007. No it’s currently 2011 & Obama is the president of the USA. There has been actually several Keyword Suggestion Tools since the public & overused Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool vanished around 2007 but it seems no one writes about them.

The old Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool was pretty much a staple for too many marketing tools. If the tools were used for advertising that would have been fine but many of the softwares using the tool wasn’t geared towards paid search. It was used as an SEO tool and also benchmarks for domain stats.


In 2007 Yahoo launched the first new Keyword Suggestion Tool as they promised when they shut down the old one. Everyone was happy to hear that, business as usual right? Wrong. The first tool was agency only. Each person who used it had their own individual logins. Also there was never any press release on it. Agencies used it & kept quiet. Why not? This is the tool that finally is not being updated anymore.


So I know you’re wonder how do agencies get their data now? Well that tool to us was “So last year”. We already have a new tool by Yahoo! Japan. This tool also is schedule to be updated tremendously in Fall 2011. You want to know more about this tool?

Keep reading from time to time I’ll tell you all about it.

Yahoo Japan & Google after a week

Ok it’s not a week yet but I got a chance to meet up with Yahoo reps this week twice. Since my job is paid search we got a chance to ask our team of reps that come by the office “Ok so what’s going on”.

You can be assured that the systems Yahoo & Google use for advertising will be separate.

Most likely on the outside things will look the same but the core technology backend for Yahoo will change.

The products & services sold by Yahoo & Google will remain seperate.

What exactly will change is not to be determined yet. Mobile search which was mainly built in Japan also has the potential to use the Google technology.

For those of us in Digital & Search Marketing in Tokyo. Most of us love the Yahoo Japan guys. We like Google too, but everyone knows that Yahoo Japan has a great team of diligent hardworking ladies & men that really support agencies to the fullest.  With the companies both in Roppongi now people around town say that both teams might worry about each other selling the same product but the products & services offered are completely different. Google’s team can’t handle servicing the smaller & mid sized business’ in Japan. Yahoo Japan can. It’s just a fact.

Breaking News Yahoo Japan to outsource Search to Google

I have to admit I thought this was a media joke. After struggling using Yahoo’s technology for year’s Yahoo Japan made the announcement to switch search over to Google.

I’ll try to write an update later on what this means to you. Possibly with more advertisers on Google’s system using adsense will make you way more money than before. Parking revenue in Japan will also increase. Way to go Wixi. There still are questions like will it be one platform for advertisers or not. So many things are unclear. I’m sure to have to be the one writing what this means to the Japanese market for our agencies.

Best posts I’ve read on a domain blog

I’ll start this post with a link.

I’ve wanted to write up that some of the measurements used by domaining is a bit flawed. Unfortunately I feel responsible because I too started the IDN Community using things like Overture International bids as a benchmark. These figures are only to be used in relation to see what the market is willing to pay for keywords. The CPC figures have no direct relation to what you will ever get if you park your domain or use adsense. Affiliate is something else, or direct advertising through banners if you create your own network.

I run PPC ads for clients throughout Asia. Those CPC rates that Google supplies or even Yahoo Search Marketing supplies are for companies advertising to see what they are going to spend on the search network. For the content network (now named the Google Display Network) neither Google or Yahoo provides any search data for estimates. It’s more like if you use the content network advertisers put in what they feel like putting in. Usually a starting CPC in most industries is about 50 cents. High CPC for the content network is about $1.

The Search listings is what makes companies money & conversions. The Content network on both Google & Yahoo are mainly for Branding. So 2000 was about traffic 2005 & on was about Conversions. So if you wonder what CPC you are entitled to for most industries except Finance the max CPC for content is generally around $1. So this is a post to explain to anyone wondering why is CPC looking so high but you get .20 cents.

Yahoo Japan feed is different. It actually pays out higher. I can’t explain how but many of my domains ran on Yahoo’s feed for more than a year. The payout was different. I’m sort of trying to work out something for someone with my peeps from Yahoo. Lets see if it pans out or not.

Yahoo Auction Japan and Japanese IDNs

Since I’ve been buying IDN domain names I’ve noticed that Yahoo Japan’s Yahoo auction has a decent amount amount of IDNs for sale already.

This is the only Japanese site I know of currently where users are selling off their Japanese IDN Domains. Since it only cost around $2 a month to get a Yahoo Auction account & you can put up as much items as you would like it’s a small investment for the rather steep prices that’s being asked for the available domains.

Unfortunately I don’t feel the auctioneers are seasoned domainers like their Western counterparts. I’m seeing domains with less than 20,000 searches a month from the Overture Japan tool absolutely no bids with an asking price of 5,000,000 yen (roughly $48,000). I believe the son of my not even yet conceived son will create a new writing system before that baby sells for close to 50 Grand.

It is good that at least Yahoo Japan has added a section for Japanese domainers. Currently I’m still not able to find a Japanese domain parking site, or other place to even sell domains in Japanese.

I’m glad at least that most of the members of the IDN forums because of the site has some potentially high value A quality IDN domain names. Maybe after we sell our XXX,XXX domains off we can buy a few of the high priced ones currently on Yahoo Auction…. or maybe not… Just joking I guess one day I’ll have to test the waters & put up a few really good domain names…