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Power Tools - Advantage: Google
Changing values across accounts -- for example setting a rules-based decrease in a bid of 10 percent, let's say for all ads with positions higher than 3 -- is not difficult in Google if you know what you're doing. On this and a number of power tools, Google has had more time to build them. Yahoo is 2.5 years behind and will remain there for some time.
Click Fraud - Both Are Improving, But Slight Advantage: Google
Both companies make strong claims about their proactive fraud detection efforts. It's difficult to make an off-the-cuff assessment of their relative performance. What Google does uniquely is offer an invalid clicks report that will break down the number of invalid clicks (as detected by Google) by ad group, if you run a custom report in the reporting area.
Reporting - Slight Advantage: Google
Even without third-party analytics installed, Google's custom reporting is quite flexible, especially with Google Conversion Tracker installed. If you want a report on content-targeting performance, no sweat. In general, both companies may offer additional custom reports to some advertisers in a higher service tier. Some features and breakdowns aren't readily available from either company. Geographic breakdowns of conversion performance would be a plus, for example, but are not available. Indeed, if you run a multi-country campaign, Google still does not appear to have a way of breaking out clicks and impressions by country.
Trademark Issues - Even Score
On Google, in the U.S., advertisers can bid on trademarked keywords but can't use trademarked terms in ad text. It's worth noting that advertisers in Europe can't bid on terms or include trademark terms in ad copy. On Yahoo, regardless of trademark, advertisers can't bid on other companies' (in other words competitors') URLs or company names. On Yahoo, there are exceptions for resellers (affiliates) and non-competitive information sites.
As a general rule, it's up to the advertiser to ensure the keywords selected do not violate any trademark laws. Trademark owners should contact the appropriate search engine if they have concerns regarding ads appearing for their trademark.
Next: Relevancy Ranking