Yahoo! Trumps Google in Audience Targeting (pay attention Googlers)

It is every marketer’s ambition to position their brand’s message in front of their target audience as efficiently as possible. From a paid search perspective, this is done by keyword inventory selection and bidding strategy, ad creative, and platform targeting features.

This week, Yahoo! announced several key features that have been implemented into their Search Marketing platform. These features include: demographic targeting, ad scheduling (dayparting), and zip code level geo-targeting. You might be familiar with these features if you are already using Google AdWords. The difference is Yahoo! has upped the ante by allowing greater control of these features than Google does.

Demographic targeting
With this new targeting feature, Yahoo! allows paid search managers to bid on keywords – in both search and content networks – based on demographic data with “bid adjustments” for various segments. Currently in Google, managers are limited to demographic bidding in the content network only.

Ad scheduling
Much like Google’s dayparting feature, ad scheduling allows ads to run at specific times of the day. Where Yahoo!’s new feature excels is in the level of control given to managers. Unlike Google (are you paying attention Googlers?), Yahoo! now allows ad scheduling at the ad group level. Also, to improve on the time it takes to manage an account, Yahoo! allows ad scheduling based on the time zone the user resides in. Great feature, kudos, Yahoo!!

Enhanced ZIP-level geo-targeting
Not only does Yahoo! have ZIP-level geo-targeting (which Google does not), they also allow geo-targeting at the ad group level. This means you can “mix and match” geo-targeting settings within a campaign, which allows a more logical campaign structure and more efficient management of time.

If Google wants to remain the leader in search marketing innovation, they should take note of what is happening down the road from them at Yahoo!. Although Yahoo! has a long ways to go to contend with the almighty AdWords platform, the new targeting features that were unveiled this week brings them one step closer.