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Shop.org Session: Brett Goffin of Google, Diane Rinaldo of Yahoo, and Jason Dailey of Microsoft

Highlights from the Google/Yahoo/Microsoft panel at Shop.org Annual, NYC, Wednesday, October 11, 2006

These reflect quickly scribbled notes. Paraphrasing; these are NOT direct quotes. May not have every detail right. Reach out if I didn't capture something accurately.

Brett Goffin, Google
Diane Rinaldo, Yahoo
Jason Dailey, Microsoft

Opening remarks

Google: Different suggestions for direct response pure-plays vs. multichannel advertisers. Pure plays: use technology to allow you to scale up campaigns. Testing. Too few people appreciate the benefit of well-set up account structures. Structure your campaigns intelligently. Note Multichannel: Focus on corporate sales, not just web sales. Test. Use local search.

Yahoo: New platform better supports testing, faster ad activation, geotargeting, share and click forecasting, advanced analytics. Platform rolling out over Q4; quality-based bidding not until 2007q1.

Microsoft: AdCenter has high conversion of big three (G/Y/M). Search targeting by gender and demographics. Time of day. Match PPC buys to traditional media campaigns in terms of demographics, geography, and timing.

Tidbits from Q&A:

Q: What can you say about YouTube deal yesterday? What about Facebook rumors today? Monetization?
G: Can't say much -- Larry and Sergey forgot to consult me before the deal. <g> No official statement about advertising, though the Adsense network would make sense.

Q: EBay results appear on just about every SERP. Does EBay enjoy special pricing from the engines? Are the auctions truly fair?
G/Y/M in unison: The auctions are fair. EBay (or anyone else) does not receive special price concessions.
G: The biggest advertisers like EBay and the CSEs have marketing advantages because they've built their technology to help them scale up and run very large million term campaigns. They don't get special pricing.

Q: Can you reassure advertisers the transition to the new Y platform ("Panama") occuring over the next few months wont wreck holiday campaigns on Y?
Y: There will be no disruptions. 100% smooth. This is the major engineering effort at Y and just about every engineer is on this project working to make it smooth. Quality bidding not until Q1.

Q: Clickfraud.
G/Y/M in unison: we have it under control, we only bill you for valid clicks, have no worries.

Q: Comparison shopping engines -- Price Grabber, Shopzilla, etc -- appear on many many SERPs, and push me down or off the page. Is this a good user experience?
G: We don't make value judgments about what kinds of site buys ads, just that they follow the guidelines.

Q: People are abusing my trademark and what can I do?
Y: Contact us -- we'll help. Form on our website.
M: Contact us -- we'll help. Form on our website.
G: We're not the trademark police -- the mark holder bears responsibility for protecting their marks. Contact us -- form on our site.

Q: Does G wallet lift conversion?
G: No official data to share yet, but we think yes -- studies underway and results soon.
Audience person (speaking before mic reached him): G wallet lifted my site conversion signifcantly.
G: Get that man a mic -- please repeat yourself so the whole room can hear <g>

Q: How do you ensure ads meet your guidelines?
G: Proprietary algorithms.
Y: Algorithms and human editors.

Q: Microsoft's search is small, and lower in 2006 than in 2005. What are you doing to grow traffic.
A: Look at quality, not quantity. While we've dropped in percentage share, we're up in absolute search volume.

Q: Will you move from just offering CPC pricing to also CPA pricing?
Y: No, we're staying CPC.
M: No, we're staying CPC.
G: No comment.

DMNews coverage

Many thanks to Diane, Brett, and Jason for their participation, their good humor, and their willingness to take questions from the crowd.

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