On June 12, 2012 JumpFly was invited to participate in Chicago’s first Yahoo! Search & Bing Advertiser Forum and I was lucky enough to be able to venture downtown to participate.
This was an amazing event that allowed attendees to not only get a sneak peek into planned enhancements, but to also provide valuable feedback to the development teams about how the products are used daily in our paid search centered lives.

Chicago Advertiser Forum

Since the Search Alliance was formed between Yahoo! and Microsoft in early 2010, we have seen tremendous growth and success for our clients advertising on these platforms.  However, when the systems and support staff of two major companies merge, there are bound to be some hiccups and growing pains.  Thankfully both Yahoo! and Microsoft are fully committed to providing the best experience for agencies, direct advertisers and people doing the searching.  This commitment was solidified by the extremely in-depth, Yahoo and Microsoft moderated, roundtable discussion period.  During this time, three of the eight people at our table were representatives of the Search Alliance, with one being a dedicated note-taker for the group.

Within the roundtable discussion, we were encouraged to provide as much positive and negative feedback as possible.  It was extremely refreshing to have the captive ear of people who could actually do something with our gripes and suggestions.  Our table definitely gave our moderators what they were looking for, and then some.  There was some great feedback provided to the Search Alliance that I am confident will be taken back to their Product Managers, Engineers and Directors.

Not only did we provide valuable product input, we were also informed about enhancements that will be coming with future updates to the AdCenter platform and the programming that takes place behind the scenes.  These enhancements will help JumpFly manage paid search accounts in Yahoo! and Bing more efficiently and effectively. **Spoiler Alert:  There will be an MCC-type management platform coming soon and they are diligently working on increased data transparency and improved API functionality.  We also learned about the MAI (Microsoft Advertising Intelligence) Tool.  This is a powerful Excel extension for effective keyword research using Yahoo! and Bing data as opposed to Google’s Keyword Tool.  If you are advertising on the Search Alliance network and haven’t used this little gem, I strongly suggest giving it a whirl.  I know you will be happy with the quality of keywords it provides.

Another new feature we were given a sneak peek of is Yahoo Axis – the new search-oriented browser add-on and iOS app. With the browser version of Axis, when a user types in a search query they aren’t taken to a traditional SERP page, but rather a social portal that shows them whether their Twitter followers and/or Facebook friends are talking about what they need to know about.  If you have an iOS device, the experience is even cooler.  You can browse on your desktop, save your results and pick up right where you left off on your iPhone and/or iPad.  Very cool social search smashup that doesn’t have ads yet, but has the potential to be a great enhancement for paid search opportunities in the not so distant future.  Take a look at Axis, give it a whirl and see if your friends are talking about what interests you.

In conclusion, the Yahoo! and Bing Search Alliance is bringing us some pretty amazing innovations in the next few quarters.  I am truly excited to see how they implement the changes that were suggested at the Advertiser Forum.