Apparently some people are getting pretty angry over the performance of the Direct Traffic Center (DTC) piece of Yahoo Search Marketing (or Overture). As usual, the Search Engine Roundtable brought this to my attention. There’s even some guys wanting to pull their ads for 5 days in protest. They want something to change, I’d like some change in the DTC. Search Engine Roundtable has a list of 10 things some PPC managers want to change about the DTC. There’s also links to discussions about this on a couple forums.
I manage all our SEM stuff at work. I work with the DTC a lot, it’s crap. The Google Adwords interface is so much better and quicker. Reports can be easily customized in Adwords so you can get the info you need.
The DTC in Overture is slow. Brian took over managing our Overture/Yahoo account while I was in Colorado. He said the scheduled maintenance for Friday (7/22) evening. During that period, access to the DTC wouldn’t be available. I get into work Monday morning and I can’t get in. I had just gotten an e-mail from Overture warning our funds were getting low. No shit! Your DTC is down so it’s impossible to add funds! Sometime around 4:00pm CST yesterday I was finally able to login. And then it was slow as could be.
Other complaints I have with it are the reports. There’s only a few possible reports you can get. And they can’t really be customized. In Adwords you can choose what data to show for which adgroups and so forth. You can get a pretty much totally customized report in Adwords. The reporting in the Overture DTC is pathetic. You’re not even able to choose specific data to show as far as I can tell. EMP also has a bit to add.
Well, now what?
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There are more problems with Yahoo SM that just the traffice center.
We’ve been a strong support of YSM for a number of years even when it was just Overture. We’ve delivered to them hundred of thousand of dollars of adverters for them. It seems like its the old story of when you get to big for your pants and instead of having a few managers, you have 10 dozen. Thus nothing get done by fear of stepping on the other guys toes.
Some problems we’ve run into:
– Content Match having a mind of its own and this is very costly for B2C accounts. They say the account owner is the only one with their login & password is the only way it can be turned back on. This is false and can be proven. Most B2B or B2C sites have backend stat reporting systems and one of the items is Search Strings and when you pick up 10,000 hits in one day, this can be a costly. Even with the Content Match turned off, it still operates behind the screen and yes you’ll get charged for it.
– Adding a new listing, can also be fun: When you enter a new listing or term and wait for approval, though you want Standard Match it will show up as Advance Match. Then you have to go back in and change back to Standard.
– Generating Reports: About 80% of the time when you want a report a little message in basic terms stats come back later. Then about 50% of that time if you just re-click submit, you’ll get your report. So reports you won’t get at all unless you creat a report and have it sent to you email. Then you login to your account, look for the report or try to generate, you’ll give up PDQ
– Turning Categories On and Off: When and due to seasonal promotional periods you’ll want to turn off a category and then later change and turn back on. This part seem to be OK to 90% of the time. Let’s say that you have re-designed your whole web site and need to turn off all categories and this is fine. Try to go back in and turn them all back on, no way because it can’t be done. You have to turn each category back on, one by one and wait about 15 minutes between each one. If an advertiser has 20 categories, you’re looking about 5+ hours to complete.
– Executive Services: Try to keep in contact with one of the people in this department and can’t be done or maybe that’s the way they want it. Each time, unless you indicate in the email, which you use their feedback@yahoo and have to put the person name in the subject bar and after the Case number. Then when someone new trys to reply, they’ll change the case number. Could it be that they wish to ware you out and hope you’ll give up, instead of solving the problem. Real good customer service.