Yahoo! Search Marketing Plays catch-up to AdWords

Yahoo! Search Marketing is finally catching up to AdWords and has launched new features (and highlighted old ones) to enable advertisers to exercise more control over where their ad dollars are going.

Among them:

Blocked Domains
Now you can specify websites in our partner distribution network where you don’t want your ads to appear.

Blocked Continents
Yahoo! automatically excludes traffic from continents other than North America. If global traffic is important to your business, you can opt into this traffic.

Both are steps in the right direction, though the blocked domains feature would be even more useful if it enabled advertisers to block ads from appearing on entire categories of webpages (such as domain name parking pages), a feature that is also badly lacking in AdWords.

Likewise, the blocked continent feature would be a lot more useful if Yahoo! allowed country-by-country targeting like Google does. Right now if you want to reach into Western Europe (Germany, UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, etc.) you’re also forced to pay for traffic from Eastern Europe where the revenue-per-click is likely to be much lower.

I applaud the step in the right direction, but even more needs to be done for Yahoo! to catch-up to Google AdWords.