In the last 48 hours, I’ve gotten messages from two separate clients who have received the following ominous email from Yahoo Search Marketing:

Dear Advertiser

Minimum bid requirements have increased for ‘[Client Name]’
[Account Number]. Some of your active Sponsored Search keywords will soon
become inactive. Review bids now.

For more information regarding this alert, please log into your account
at and click the “View
All” link in the Alerts panel. For additional help, please visit our
Help Center at


Your Partners at Yahoo! Search Marketing

Faced with a shareholder revolt, a mass employee exodus, and the continual decline in market share for paid search, it looks like Yahoo has decided that the only way to keep revenues up is to keep ratcheting up minimum bids. Short term, I suspect this will work – this is the kind of “laziness tax” that goes unnoticed by less sophisticated advertisers, who aren’t aware that they are being nickeled and dimed here and there.

Long term, however, this is yet another sign of desperation, one which will likely push more and more sophisticated advertisers away from YSM, as they are minimum-bidded out of an ROI-positive CPC range.

1 Comment

  1. searchquant July 10th, 2008

    This is perhaps the first collateral damage from Yahoo’s automatic un-automatic response to Automatic Matching.

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David Rodnitzky
David Rodnitzky is founder and CEO of 3Q Digital (formerly PPC Associates), a position he has held since the Company's inception in 2008. Prior to 3Q Digital, he held senior marketing roles at several Internet companies, including (2000-2001), FindLaw (2001-2004), Adteractive (2004-2006), and Mercantila (2007-2008). David currently serves on advisory boards for several companies, including Marin Software, MediaBoost, Mediacause, and a stealth travel start-up. David is a regular speaker at major digital marketing conferences and has contributed to numerous influential publications, including Venture Capital Journal, CNN Radio, Newsweek, Advertising Age, and NPR's Marketplace. David has a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and a J.D. with honors from the University of Iowa. In his spare time, David enjoys salmon fishing, hiking, spending time with his family, and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, not necessarily in that order.