Bing Adopts Payday Loan Ad Ban

A year ago almost to the day, Google announced that it would begin eliminating all payday loan ads and title loan ads from Adwords. Now a year later and Bing has followed suit as payday and title loan companies begin to see a substantial drop in impressions and an uptick in disapproved ads.

Bing pushed out the page and buried it in their resources area at https://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/resources/policies/financial-products-and-services-policies, but without any notice to their loan company customers.

The ban, which is in full effect on Google was defined as;

Payday loans – “Personal loans which require repayment in full in 60 days or less from the date the loan is issued (we refer to these as ‘Short-term personal loans’). This policy applies to advertisers who offer loans directly, lead generators, and those who connect consumers with third-party lenders.”

High interest loans – “In the United States, we do not allow ads for personal loans where the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is 36% or higher. Advertisers for personal loans in the United States must display their maximum APR, calculated consistently with the Truth in Lending Act (TILA).”

Now, Bing has fully adopted the same model and without warning. A Bing representative confirmed the rumor and that they are essentially drawing the line in the sand for what many people deem as predatory lending.

Many of the high interest loan companies don’t see the error of their ways since loaning money to those in need (but to individuals that typically default on their loans) is a high risk business and the high APR’s offset that balance.

This leaves loan companies only one major search engine option (for now) which is Yahoo! and that doesn’t seem like much of an option considering the very small audience that Yahoo! attracts to its search engine when compared to its rivals. However, Yahoo! does bring a lot more to the table than people expect as you can see from our previous post, so all is not lost.

But the question remains how long before Yahoo! also follows the tracks of their peers. In the interim, loan companies should clearly begin to move a bulk of their ad business over to Yahoo! before the onslaught begins. Even though Bing has made the announcement (albeit quietly and stealthily), many ads are still serving, but it’s simply a matter of time, just as Google‘s rollout was before.

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Yahoo! Future Swings & UI Misses

Yahoo! is doing whatever they can to keep up with the joneses and have announced a lot of upcoming changes to their platform to become more competitive, but their refusal to supply even the most basic of features still makes them the most inferior of the three major players.

Yahoo! is making announcements about algorithm changes and especially regarding advances for display advertising. They are heavily touting exceptional increases in traffic patterns with the launch of carousel ads, and the increased saturation of display ads and native video.

The upcoming partnership with Verizon has also sparked a lot of interest, but the details of the partnership are still relatively unknown. It will certainly give them access to a wealth of mobile data and one could almost certainly expect Yahoo! to become the main “out of the box” search provider once the dust settles. The deal already costs the company’s value to plummet millions of dollars due to the massive Yahoo! security breach that left them reeling.

The results they are reporting seem intriguing such as lower CPC in many industries such as automotive, legal, construction and medical fields. The primary reasoning being that the competition is lot less less fierce on Yahoo! as compared to Bing or Google that typically drive up CPC’s.

tumblrThere is definitely something to be said for the reach that Yahoo! has that many people are unaware of including the Yahoo! family of sites like Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! News and especially the hugely popular social site Tumblr. Unfortunately, they have admittedly not figured out how to properly utilize the social bookmarking giant even after spending 1.1 billion to acquire them. And that in itself is a crying shame because with Tumblr‘s base of close to a half a billion users, it’s a major missed opportunity. But it is not their only major miss.

The biggest of these misses is Yahoo’s lack of an offline editor. As flawed as it is, even Bing managed to release an editor while Yahoo! is still requiring users to download Excel spreadsheets, make alterations and then re-upload them to make any bulk changes. This in itself is a huge disappointment and without a friendly interface, advertisers will continue to be slow to adopt their system. This is a problem that forever haunts Yahoo! and even their reps have stated that an offline editor is not even on the radar for their developers. It’s simply not important or even a consideration.

doc-magnifying-glass-whitebgThe next poisonous oversight is the inability to create shared budgets. There are many instances where an advertiser may have multiple geos and set services for each of those geos that may warrant a dozen or more campaigns. However, if the advertiser wanted to have a specific budget allocation for a few of those campaigns to draw from, they are simply out of luck. This is yet another feature that both Google and Bing offer, even though Bing‘s shared budget option just became publicly available just last year. But at least they now have it.

Overall, the new changes and reported results have yet to be seen as truly as positive trending as they say. But Yahoo! is obviously a company that closely ties its feature releases based on their developers input over the actual users. The refusal to create an editor, the inability to implement Call Only ads, the lack of inclusion of expanded text ads, or even acknowledging the public outcry for a shared budgets feature makes it very evident that the developers pull the strings at Yahoo! at the detriment of their user base.

We love any search provider that can deliver lower CPC’s over the big industry leader, but if you aren’t even going to try to keep up with trends that have been established and proven by your main competitors for years, it only communicates how out of touch Yahoo! remains to be with their customers. Very simply, when you tell your customers that what they want is unimportant, you’ve already lost.

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