Yahoo! to Ban Comparitive Search Ads

Danny points at a SEW thread noting that starting next month Yahoo! will no longer allow competing businesses to bid on trademark phrases:

"On March 1, 2006, Yahoo! Search Marketing will modify its editorial guidelines regarding the use of keywords containing trademarks. Previously, we allowed competitive advertising by allowing advertisers to bid on third-party trademarks if those advertisers offered detailed comparative information about the trademark owner's products or services in comparison to the competitive products and services that were offered or promoted on the advertiser's site.

In order to more easily deliver quality user experiences when users search on terms that are trademarks, Yahoo! Search Marketing has determined that we will no longer allow bidding on keywords containing competitor trademarks."

Trademark terms are some of the most valuable words in the search space. While this move may not be surprising given Yahoo!'s past activities, will this move cause other engines to change their policies? How will this policy effect comparison sites which offer many brands on the landing page? Is Yahoo! trying to commoditize the search marketplace to help them make more money away from search?

They still support typosquatting and cracking sites away from search, but may that be coming to an end too? The recent Perfect 10 vs Google lawsuit points to newtwork quality becoming a more important issue.

Published: February 23, 2006

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Comments

February 25, 2006 - 12:24am

Hi Aaron:
I know I'm a little bit off topic here, but I would like to know your insights on Google's new Bigdaddy update or infrastructure change, whatever it really is... I have two sites whose domain names point to respective URLs hosted under a different domain (one of them through a 301 redirect and another one through a 302). Both destination pages, which enjoyed several #1 positions in Google for somewhat competitive keywords, have now disappeared from the index, together with 60% of my pages. My sites had a total of 300+ pages in Google, built one buy one in a timeframe of two years, and a natural link profile that involves directory listings, articles and unsolicited links (not exactly your typical spam site...). Maybe others are in a similar situation and this may become an interesting topic of discussion.

Thanks for the great work and for always giving your readers great value!

Mario Sanchez

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