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Yahoo vs. Google

A post at JenSense compares Yahoo's contextual advertising to Google's. The author reports that YPN brought in about the same money with a far lower click through rate. I think that she correctly analyzed the most likely reason: the YPN ads are different than the Adsense ads that browsers have probably already seen at other sites. As YPN matures, their contextual matching will improve, their CTR will increase, but at the same time their payout will decrease. At the end of the day, nobody should expect that YPN income will be any better than Adsense.

Where YPN can compete is in communication and reporting.

Google is sometimes difficult to communicate with. Once in a while I have had a response from someone who seemed genuinely interested in helping, but more often the response is little more than a link to their faqs and not much more. I'm not a peanut Adsense client either: five figures yearly. Low five figures, true, but it still ought to be enough to get more than a yawn response, I think.

Google's reporting is not as good as it could be. If YPN gave me better reporting and more open communication, I might switch even if the dollars are the same. I hope Google is listening, because I suspect a lot of us feel exactly the same way. Maybe they wouldn't miss my revenue, but if tens of thousands of us moved, as I think we might.. well, that's a different story.

Google needs better reporting and more openness. They need to train their support people to feel more empathy (as I said, some are very good) and at least pretend that they give a damn. I'm sure that improvements will come (Google isn't stagnant, at all), but I hope this new competition makes them sit up and really take notice.

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