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Yahoo's SM Description to be Shortened

70 Character Google like description for Yahoo SM



11:14 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yahoo SM, formerly Overture, is now going to have shorter descriptions for all ppc ads limiting them to 70 characters. Anyone else heard of this?

Yahoo seems to have been requesting this format since January 16th.


12:29 am on Jan 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's an attempt to make the paid ads look more like the natural results so that they can get more clicks. Latest reports say only 13% of all searchers click on paid ads.


10:19 am on Jan 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Yes, I have heard about this, but I think that the shortened listings are just for the USA at the moment. Any words longer than the limit will be cut off...

I saw some Yahoo! context ads last night with the words cut off and thought they looked quite bad. Not as neat and tidy as the Adsense ones.


12:17 am on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just a quick note, this change was dicussed back in December when we alerted advertisers. Please check out the thread here called: "Yahoo Changing PPC Ad Layout" [webmasterworld.com]

Let me know if you have any questions.


[edited by: werty at 8:59 am (utc) on Jan. 20, 2006]
[edit reason] Added the link to the mentioned thread. [/edit]


1:11 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is a total disaster in the US so far. The results look awful.


8:43 pm on Jan 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

<<<This is a total disaster in the US so far. The results look awful.>>>

Why do you say this? I have not seen any change in CTR rates up or down with this change.



1:12 am on Jan 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator skibum is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

So what is the date for this? Y! keeps telling us not to worry about it at this point and doesn't seem to think it will happen in the immediate future but doesn't really seem to know what the timing is going to be or if Y! will take it upon themselves to modify ads or if advertisers will be given notice to do it themselves.


8:27 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

It is a disaster as stated above.

1. There is no fairness amoung competitors. One advertiser (on the same keyword) can have as much as 120 characters on a keyword when another advertiser is only allowed as little as 60 characters.

2. There is no strategic way to write ads anymore. Why?
Because your descriptions are only redcued on Yahoo.com - Not on MSN (well yes they started their own reduction program a while back, but still shows more than Yahoo.com...and all the distribution partners are apparently still showing 190 characters).

How do I write ads anymore? Do I write them to be the best for Yahoo.com or MSN or the other distribution partners? Since Yahoo will not give us a breakout of which source of traffic-clicks is the biggest - translation we don't know that of 50 clicks 25 came from Yahoo, 20 came from MSN and 5 came from other distributors. We can't effectively write the ad copy for the largest click source.

Yahoo customer service has actually been quite rude about this whole process; answering questions.

I didn't expect this to go smoothly, since nothing ever does with them. I predict huge layoffs at Yahoo very soon - the stock is going down fast and when MSN pulls out - Oh Boy.


12:14 am on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Has this been implemented for all USA accounts already? We advertise exclusively in the U.S., but as our company is based in Australia I can't view USA ads on yahoo.com and thus can't check for myself.

I haven't had a response from our Yahoo rep (so much for platinum status.)


1:34 am on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes all U.S. advertisers have had their ad copy length reduced on Yahoo.com. Ad copy on Yahoo affiliates might not be changed.


2:26 am on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks, bostonseo.

It's pretty annoying that the 'description' field still just has one box allowing 190 characters.

Has anyone noticed an increase in CTR as a result of this change?


1:46 pm on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

You can write ads that encompasses all properties.

Write one ad that is 68-70 characters in length (use the rough guide of 35 characters per line as some longer words will have to be on the 2nld line), and then finish off the ad with another 100-120 characters.

Yahoo will show your first 70 characters, and the other properties will show the entire ad.


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