Yahoo is running a promotion where, if you pay a $5 deposit (which unlike Google’s is counted against your clicks) they’ll give you a $25 advertising credit. That is a real no brainer, so I signed up for it. And it was pretty immediately apparent why Google is kicking Yahoo’s hindquarters:

  • Google has much, much, much better web-based tools to quickly get in variations for your keywords. For example, “second grade sight word list” plugged into Yahoo’s tool gets only variations on the plurals. Google picks up second graders, etc, and also some words which are syntactically connected but are *not* variations of the words in the query. Which is great because those words are cheaper than anything as nobody is targetting obscure teaching terminology… except me.
  • Yahoo will always display your full URL people get taken to (e.g. Google displays whatever you want it to display ( One of these is obviously a lot more comfortable for the customer.
  • Google makes new ads easy. If you’ve already got one ad in a keyword group, throw in another and Google will rotate them for you trying to find the one that gets clicked on most. Yahoo, not so much. You have to go through the whole setup process again.
  • Google will have you up in minutes *if* your ad text doesn’t trigger any of their filters (e.g. no guns, no gambling, etc). My original text did (bingo is apparently a gambling word) but I got the exemption I requested within 24 hours. Yahoo will have you up and running in 72 hours.
  • Google AdWords comes with Google Analytics, which is a) worth keeping an AdWords account running for even if nobody ever converts from it, because it beats whatever web stats software you are currently using hands down b) is the perfect tool for an information junkie and c) lets you know whether all that money you’re spending on the ad campaign is actually making you money. Yahoo… no such tool, but we play well with Google Analytics, if you go through hoops with tagging URLs which we actually display?