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December 19, 2005

Yahoo! Sponsored Search listings shortened

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Guest Entry by Cindy Turrietta, SEM Analyst–Bruce Clay, Inc

Yahoo has made an announcement that they will soon (January 18th) be changing the max character lengths for ad descriptions. Initially they will automatically shorten them and over time they will fine tune the exact character count that they believe works best for advertisers and search users.

I highly recommend reviewing your ads to see what effect truncating them will have. Yahoo suggests beginning your description with the most important information in the first 70 characters. Other than that, since Yahoo’s partner network will still be showing the longer descriptions, you may want to leave them as is until Yahoo determines the best character count, and then revise them. But that is up to you.

Here is an excerpt from Yahoo’s email:

How this change impacts your listings:

* Yahoo! will display shorter descriptions for Sponsored Search listings

* You don’t have to make any changes to your listings; they’ll be automatically shortened for you when displayed on Yahoo!

* If you’d like to optimize your listings for Yahoo!, begin your description with one short sentence that includes your keyword and focuses on your most important information in the first 70 characters

* Over time, we will fine tune the exact character count that we believe works best for advertisers and search users

* Most of our partners, including MSN, CNN, ESPN and Infospace, will still display longer descriptions for your Sponsored Search listings, though the exact length may vary from partner to partner.

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