Yahoo Adds Granularity to Local Search Ads

  |  October 20, 2008   |  Comments

Enhancements come as Department of Justice seeks proof of Yahoo's intent to be a contender in search advertising.

Yahoo has unveiled more precise geo-targeting options for search advertisers. Panama users can now deliver campaigns to cities and Zip codes, whereas previously they could only carpet bomb whole states and designated market areas.

The new granularity one-ups Google's local ad capabilities, which are limited to city-level targeting.

It also comes as Yahoo faces pressure from the U.S. Justice Department to show its intent to innovate around search ads. The DOJ, in its investigation of the company's outsourcing deal with Google, has listed such proof among the demands it hopes to have met before it's willing to green-light the tie-up, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

In a statement that seemed crafted to address the DOJ's concerns, Yahoo said the new features are "reinforcing its commitment to be a leader in search."

Greg Sterling, founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, noted it's unlikely Yahoo undertook its enhancements to appease U.S. investigators. However, he said the move may serve to kill two birds with one stone -- convincing both advertisers and investigators that it still means to provide a serious alternative to Google.

"There's a process that's been going on for a while," said Sterling. "Having said that, I would imagine this is something that they see as contributing the impression they're not going to become complacent."

He added, "It's part of an argument they're going to make but I think it's going to have it's own...rationale.""

Yahoo's new Zip code targeting comes with an interactive mapping interface marketers can use to choose cities and Zip codes. The city menu includes about 3,500 municipalities in the U.S and Canada.

Both Google and Yahoo use IP targeting, among other factors, to identify audiences by region, and both offer disclaimers that mention the approach's imperfect accuracy. Yahoo's campaign targeting notes, "Geo-targeting accuracy is not guaranteed and may vary depending on the level of targeting selected, as well as other factors."

Sterling noted that the next phase of geo-targeting innovation may come as marketers gain access to neighborhood audience segments through technologies such as WiFi triangulation.

"It starts to get really interesting when you can go down to the neighborhood level," he said. "That's when you've got Census data showing who lives there."

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, August 29 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zachary Rodgers

Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects. 

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

Jobs

    • Sales Planner
      Sales Planner (Verve ) - New YorkAbout Verve   Verve is the leader in location powered mobile advertising. We manage one of the largest mobile...
    • Systems Analyst/Support
      Systems Analyst/Support (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreIRIS (Increased Revenue Intuitive Software ) is proprietary software that helps marketers...
    • Client Services Support Specialist
      Client Services Support Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - Delray Beach OVERVIEW:  This position requires a highly motivated and resourceful individual...