Apples and Apples: Comparing Two Display Giants, And What You Can Learn From It

I was recently browsing through my emails, and noticed an update from one of the discussion groups I follow on SearchEngineWatch (a great resource for pay per click advertising insight, btw). One article, in particular, caught my eye: “The Difference between Google & Yahoo Advertising“, by Gabe Elliot, Director of Sales at Channel Intelligence.

Now, this wasn’t your typical argument, where visitors and followers posit their ideas, and then champion their beliefs. Instead, Gabe gathered different examples of display ads on both networks, and set them side by side the reader to compare. Here’s a snapshot:


yahoo ads


google display

I really enjoyed the side by side comparison. This gave me an idea of how this could help advertisers to build landing pages to effectively attract their target audience. A marketer can better understand the rationale used, and how to craft their messages using design elements.

The Google ads are simplistic and direct, featuring basic, soothing blues and greens. These ads mirror Google’s overall look, succeeding in creating a total branding effort. All IAB ad sizes are supported. There is an emphasis on simple, easily navigated designs and overall cleanliness. There are additional ad types offered by Google, but this is a good sample.

The Yahoo ads are starkly different from the Google designs. These ads tend to be much more colorful and lively. The humans in the ads are in full color instead of black and white. There is a variety of colors used, as well as fonts and ad copy structure. There is a lot more information and data on these pages, situated in various positioning. The use of a strong “call to action” throughout the majority of Yahoo ads, such as “this is your last chance,” “read the full report,” “vote now,” and “imagine the possibilities.” All of the ads are the same landing page size, as well.

In terms of advertising, as has been proven, both of these offerings are effective in their own way. Each provokes different feelings in their audiences, deliver information in different ways, and help convey the benefits of the product or service they are promoting. Each approach used depends upon the product. For example, if you are promoting a technical, financial or health service, a clean, simple landing page may be one choice to go with. An advertiser promoting a website selling household items, personal services, etc, a more colorful, comforting approach may be desirable.

Advertisers promoting their products should definitely take some time to consider the use of design elements on their pages. Based upon my experience, an advertiser has to decide what design elements will help entice visitors to explore their site. This depends very much on the audience you are targeting and their particular needs. This discussion is a good illustration of the choices you have and the message you would like to send. There is a simple, streamlined approach to attract users to sign up for a subscription or newsletter, or a livelier, humanized design will attract your visitors and entice them to further explore your site.

Advertisers who are familiar with Google and Yahoo/Bing have seen many ads like these before. You can glean some insight into the effectiveness of design elements by taking some time to examine advertising choices. These subtle messages delivered through image and design can prove to be very helpful in attracting visitors to your site. Remember to consider your audience, your product, and the message you are conveying, to best deliver it.