Changes afoot among the big search players are expected to have a mixed effect on search engine marketers. New offerings from Yahoo! and MSN may give advertisers more control, but industry-watchers predict pricing will continue to rise and campaign management will grow more complex.
“It’s going to make life more complicated for search marketers,” said Danny Sullivan, editor of Search Engine Watch. “It’s going to make it even more essential for large advertisers to use a tool vendor, because management across three programs is going to be too much.”
But the complexity will also be a boon to technology providers and larger SEM firms that have the tools to handle it, said Fredrick Marckini, CEO of iProspect. He notes that an additional layer of complexity will come with MSN’s plans to give advertisers more control through business intelligence, letting advertisers target ads by location, gender, or age group.
“The big winners are SEM firms with bidding agents. More complexity means more need for machine intervention,” Marckini said. “The greatest thing that could happen to SEM now would be for AOL to come out with its own marketplace.”
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