Prepare Now for Yahoo! Paid Listing Changes

When it comes to the recent news of the new look coming to Yahoo! Search Marketing, heed the words of the ancient proverb: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For those of you who haven’t yet heard about the upcoming changes scheduled to go live January 18th, Yahoo! plans to display shorter descriptions for the Sponsored Search listings, 70 characters to be exact. How Googlesque.

At least for the time being Yahoo! is stating that the listings will be shortened to 70 characters, but according to a post from YahooSarah at the SearchEngineWatch forum, “Over time, we will fine tune the exact character count that we believe works best for advertisers and search users”. Of course the changes (according to Yahoo!) are benefiting all those involved. Searchers will see ads that are easier to read; advertisers can expect to see an increase in clicks while still maintaining conversion rates. Wow, thanks Yahoo!!

I urge all who advertise with Yahoo! to take the necessary precautions before the crisis (I mean changes) takes place January 18th. Yahoo! is telling advertisers that changes to sponsored listings do not need to be made as the sponsored listings will be automatically truncated to meet the new character limitations. What?! Automatically truncated? I can see it now, sponsored listings that contain half a sentence, or better yet sponsored listings that stop in the middle of a word.

Don’t fall victim to Yahoo! technology. Optimize your sponsored listings now. Be certain that your description is only 70 characters long and is highly relevant to your search term. Remember to focus on the most important information, as you will not have the character availability for great detail in your listing. And, one final note, get your listings updated and through the editorial review process prior to January 18th. I have a feeling that the editorial review process will take longer during this time and prove to be more frustrating than ever. The sooner you can implement your changes the better your listings will likely be during this transitional time at Yahoo!