Google Ads vs. Yahoo Ads: Pros and Cons

When you’re deciding where to spend your digital advertising dollars, you want to get the most for your money. You have lots of choices, including Youtube ads, podcast sponsorships, and social media influencer marketing. 

Pay per click ads, where you’re only charged when you get results, are often one of the top choices for digital marketers. They offer a relatively easy way to break into digital marketing and can provide real-time data to help you measure and tweak results. 

Yahoo was once the leader in internet ads, but over time Google took the lead in market share for both search and online advertising. But that doesn’t mean that the search engine giant is the best choice for your business. There can be tremendous benefit from testing different options. 

Here we’ll explore the pros and cons, as well as similarities and differences, of Google Ads versus Yahoo Ads.  

Pros and Cons of Google Ads

Google Ads (formerly called Google AdWords) include search ads that appear at the top of the search results page when people search for something on Google as well as display ads that appear on websites of publishers participating in the Google Adsense program. Google also offers ads that appear on Google Maps and Gmail ads that appear in Gmail email accounts. 

Google is the most popular search engine and boasts the most search volume of any search engine, and for that reason alone many small businesses will find it offers plenty of opportunities to get in front of your target audience. 

Google Ads offers results-based advertising, including pay-per-click advertising (PPC ads) where you only pay when you get results, such as when someone clicks on your offer. 

That makes it a potentially cost-effective option, provided you know how to convert those clicks to the next step, whether that’s to sign up for an email newsletter or to make a purchase. 

Pros 

Can be relatively easy to get started 

High visibility on targeted searches

Many testing options available

In-depth analytics

Set your own budget

Can offer a high Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

Faster results than Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques

Available for remarketing

Cons

Clicks may not equal conversion

Cost per click is high in some industries

Learning curve required to make the most of features

Brief opportunity to grab attention

Need to monitor results closely

Tracking and attribution can break

May take time to get desired results

While you can learn how to use the Google Ads platform as a beginner, many entrepreneurs find that to get the most out of it requires expertise. An experienced ad agency may be helpful to optimize your ads and help you create a successful strategy. 

Pros and Cons of Yahoo Ads

While Yahoo may not be the first option that comes to mind when you think of online advertising, Yahoo advertising can be a great fit for some online advertisers, particularly when it comes to affordability and specific types of users. 

While it doesn’t generate the massive number of search queries Google does, millions of users use Yahoo search each month. Overall, users tend to be more affluent and older, which can make them ideal targets for certain businesses. 

In addition to advertising on its search engine, Yahoo also offers advertising on properties like Yahoo! Finance and through Yahoo mail (email). Native ads (formerly Yahoo Gemini) is Yahoo’s platform for native ads, which offer a variety of display ad formats, including video ads. 

Pros

Variety of ad formats

Retargeting available

CPC can be low

Flexible budgets

Decent analytics

Can test multiple ads/formats

May offer less competition

Users may be more affluent

Cons

Interface may involve learning curve 

User base tends to include fewer young users

Potential customers may be on other platforms

Not always worth time spent 

Similarities between Google Ads and Yahoo Ads

There are some basic similarities between the search engine marketing tools offered by Google Ads and Yahoo Ads. Both platforms:

  • Offer an auction system where advertisers bid on keywords. Advertisers can create multiple ad campaigns and target ads based on keywords, demographics, location, devices etc. 

  • Provide reporting and analytics to help advertisers tweak and target campaigns.  

  • Allow advertisers to set budgets and cap ad spend. 

Differences between Google Ads and Yahoo Ads

The differences between Google Ads and Yahoo Ads will likely become apparent when you start using each platform to place and test ads. Digital marketers may fine:

  • Lower search volume on Yahoo compared to Google. 

  • Greater competition on Google than Yahoo

  • Click-through-rates (CTR) often higher on Yahoo 

  • Yahoo ads may be less expensive

  • Google’s basic ad platform functionality may be easier to learn

Of course, your mileage may vary. If your target audience isn’t on Yahoo, for example, then it doesn’t matter that the pricing is cheaper because you simply won’t find enough customers there. On the other hand, you may find it easier to find your customers on Yahoo than on Google due to the stiffer competition. 

Choosing The Right Ads Platform For Your Business

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, you have many choices when it comes to where you spend your ad dollars. There’s no shortage of places that will be happy to take your money to run ads. When it comes to search networks, Google Ads, Bing Ads and Yahoo Ads are three of the most popular. 

It’s worth noting that Microsoft Advertising can also be used to reach Bing, Yahoo and AOL owned and operated sites as well as Bing, AOL, and Yahoo syndicated search partner sites.

There are a number of factors that will help you decide which platform is right for your business. They include:

  • Budget and cost

  • Target demographics

  • Amount of time you want to invest in testing

  • Metrics like CTRs and ROAS

If you have the time and budget, you don’t have to choose one platform over another. You can test ads on multiple ad platforms to see what works best. While you never want to waste money, investing some money to find the right ad strategy may pay off in the long run. 

If you can afford it, consider working with an experienced digital advertising agency to save time, money and effort in the long run. 

And when it comes to paying for your digital ad spend, choose the right credit card. Most small business credit cards are not designed to scale ad spend. Inflexible credit limits can result in card failure, which can cause you to lose valuable time and data. 


Dash.fi is the only credit card designed specifically for digital ad spend. With higher credit limits, and generous rewards, it allows you to stabilize ad spend at scale.


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