Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Yahoo has decided to cut the length of their creatives down to the same length as Google - 70 characters.

The strongest advantage of this, is that it will allow advertisers to run the same ad on both networks, giving them the opportunity to more directly compare results and to present a more consistent message.

The biggest disadvantage is that Google's ads are too short, particularly considering that Yahoo has editorial rules in place that will make it even more difficult to maximize that small amount of real estate.

Yahoo's longer ad length allowed the advertiser to more clearly qualify the click - presenting a better idea to the user of what lay beyond the click at the advertiser's site. I never thought that anyone read a full 190 character ad, but relevant bits would jump out to their eye. A 70 character ad scans more easily, and can be absorbed in less than an eye-blink - which is as long as you've got to get your point across anyway before a user moves their eye on to the next item on the page or navigates away.

But there's a huge difference between the two. 100, 110 characters would still allow for a little more messaging, while keeping the ads concise both verbally and visually.

Yahoo has also stated that they are not changing any of their editorial rules, which makes no sense with such a radical change. You must include the entire search term in an ad – shoot some of my search terms are that long. You can’t use ampersands, or abbreviations. We aren’t allowed any of the neat “tricks” that allow us to squeeze a little more information into our ads as we can on Google.

Yahoo also doesn’t allow advertisers to run multiple ads simultaneously, which puts them at a disadvantage. Advertisers will use Google to test creatives first, and apply what they learn from Google to Yahoo, secondarily.

So, this is going to be a little bumpy at first. Until editorial standards are changed to more closely reflect those at Google, it still won’t be a simple matter of using the same ads and being able to compare results from one engine to the other. Ads will still have to be re-written, sometimes dramatically. Still, I think that shorter is better in the online world.

(Not that you’d know it from my blog posts!)

article here: http://www.clickz.com/news/article.php/3577666


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