Liquor ads or no? The thorny Microsoft-Yahoo search/ad details start to come to light

In a new blog post on May 13, Yahoo execs shared a few examples of the kinds of thorny issues they're having to work out with the Softies in order to make work the Microsoft-Yahoo ad/sales transition to which the companies agreed last year.

Microsoft and Yahoo officials noted a week ago that the pair are working out their ad/sales transition plan, via which Microsoft will be supplying Yahoo with search results and Yahoo moving its ad customers to the Microsoft adCenter ad platform.

In a new blog post on May 13, Yahoo execs shared a few examples of the kinds of thorny issues they're having to work out with the Softies in order to make this transition happen.

Acknowledging "there were naturally a lot of concerns by our search advertisers" as to how the transition might affect them, Yahoo officials posting some of their ad partners' questions and some answers on the Yahoo Search Marketing blog. Among the queries:

  • “Will liquor advertising keywords, which we currently use on Yahoo!, work on MSN’s? MSN’s current policy does not allow liquor keywords like scotch, liquor baskets, etc.”
  • "What about singular and plural word that YSM (Yahoo Search Marketing) see them as same word but Bing does not?”
  • “Will the new platform allow us to run FLASH driven and video capture pages? Currently adCenter pauses campaigns that have video-driven capture pages since they can not read the file.This has been a drag for marketers, as the web continues to transition to video than actual ‘web copy’.”
  • ”I use both but adCenter does not have Tracking URLs. Is this going to get fixed? Also, ad scheduling is better in Yahoo. Are all features, that are currently missing, going to get implemented in Adcenter?”

(The answers all are fairly involved, so check the blog post for the particulars....)

Last week, Yahoo and Microsoft officials said they hoped to complete the ad/search transition in time for holiday 2010 ad campaigns to be unaffected, but if that weren't possible, they'd hold off on transitioning until early 2011.

Speaking of search/ads, I didn't have a chance to post the latest comScore search share data released earlier this week. The quick overview: For April, both Yahoo and Microsoft gained U.S. search share, while Google lost a bit. It's all relative, though: Google still owns 64.4 percent of the U.S. search share, Yahoo owns 17.7 percent, and Bing, 11.8 percent, according to comScore.

SearchEngineLand's Danny Sullivan noted there are many things to keep in mind when looking at this data. ("Yahoo has turned the corner! or "Google is starting to lost share!" proclamations are unrealistic and hasty, he notes.) Plus, there are some (including Sullivan) who believe Yahoo's gains are a result of navigational changes that are "gaming the system," Sullivan noted.