A Common Language for Online Advertisers

Coming from a background of more traditional media, I was used to everything being called the same thing. What do I mean by this? For starters, a :30 commercial is a :30 commercial whether you advertise on ABC or CNN. A 2 column by 4 column print advertisement was exactly that, no matter which newspaper I wanted to advertise in. The bottom line here, we all used the same terminology.

While becoming familiar with the world of search engine marketing, specifically paid media marketing and Pay-per-click (PPC), I quickly discovered that the major search engines have their own terminology. Why is this? On Google I can use broad, exact or phrase match to display client ads. But Yahoo! gives me a choice between standard or advanced match. Also, I can build an account on Google with campaigns full of ad groups and then keywords, but on Yahoo! I can only build an account using categories with keywords. Again, I ask why is this? What is the point? Why can’t the major search engines get together to form a common glossary of search engine advertising terms?

Now, I know this isn’t that big of a deal, but it is just one more way the engines have made life difficult for online advertisers. Think about how nice it would be to have one common template to update or start an account. What if you could create an excel spreadsheet that imports into each search engine you advertise with? Think of all the time you could save; time you could spend updating more creative, winning all the bidding wars out there, developing more keywords… and the list goes on.