Yahoo Lets Search Marketers Import AdWords Campaigns

To help grease the wheels for new advertisers, Yahoo will announce today that paid search players will soon be able to import their Google AdWords files to run similar campaigns on Yahoo’s platform. The feature will be available to its business customers in less than two weeks, according to David Pann, VP of Yahoo’s search advertising division.

Campaign data that will be transferable involves mainly keywords and phrases, Pann said, while elements like geo-targeting, demographic targeting, and day-parting can be selected after the fact. He characterized the import feature as a potential accounts builder that will make it easier for Google marketers to get started on Yahoo.

Pann said advertisers have consistently expressed interest in a more streamlined way of applying their Google-based strategies on the Yahoo platform. But Yahoo may also be gearing up for the final phase to its agreement to integrate with Microsoft’s adCenter platform.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson, the platform — which includes the upstart search site, Bing — has allowed advertisers to import Google AdWords campaigns into adCenter for two years. The Yahoo-Microsoft deal is pending approval from the U.S. Justice Department — though most industry watchers expect it to go through sometime this year.

In the meantime, reaching out to Google advertisers appears to make perfect business sense for Yahoo. Because it’s hard to fathom SEM players migrating away from Yahoo to Google — where nearly all of them are already advertising — due to the import feature, it looks like a move that will help encourage ad money to flow to Yahoo.

Additionally, the Sunnyvale, CA-based company’s search division is set to announce a distribution feature that lets advertisers adjust their bids up or down within its network. Bids can be adjusted for Yahoo sites and its partners’ sites, individually, as well as both entities at the same time. Like with the import feature, Pann said, feedback led to this development.

“It’s something that our advertisers have been asking about for a couple of years now,” he explained. “What it allows them to do is create a campaign, price it, target it, and put the appropriate message around it…It gives the advertisers complete control over the messaging and pricing for every click that they get in our marketplace.”

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