A HIPPO Internet Marketing Training blog by Corey Creed

The Jungle Map, your guide through internet marketing

New YSM Ranking – How to beat it

January 29th, 2007

On February 5, 2006, Yahoo will start using a new ranking model

They will start ranking your ad based on both bid price and “Ad Quality” which involves (in their own words):

Its historical performance—the ad’s click-through rate relative to its position in search results

Its expected performance—determined by various relevance factors considered by Yahoo!’s ranking algorithms, relative to other ads displayed at the same time

So what can you do to take advantage of this?

To start, let’s take a look at the two points listed above.

1.  Historical performance:   Not much to say here.  It will probably be determined primarily by your click through rate (relative to your position).

2.  Expected performance:  What does this mean?  How can Yahoo “expect” how well your ad will perform?  It will probably be primarily based on how well your ad text and landing page match up to the keyword you are bidding on.

Given this, how do we take advantage of the new ranking?  Here are some ideas…

1.  IMPROVE YOUR ADS – Similar to Google AdWords, you should try A/B testing your ads to see which perform better.  The more your ad gets clicked on, the less you have to pay for better position.

2.  LANDING PAGES – Try using the keyword phrase you are bidding on in your title tag and page headings of the landing page you send them to.  This improves the user experience (continuity) and is likely what will drive up your “expected performance” with Yahoo.

3.  FORGET BID MONITORING – If you have been using third-party software to monitor your bids and keep them one penny over your competitor or anything like that, forget it.  They’ve never worked well for AdWords, and they won’t work well here.

4.  BID HIGH EARLY – I also think that securing a top position for your best performing keywords right at or around February 5 will likely lead to locking down a good CTR and therefore enable you to lower your price and keep that good position.  (This one is more of a theory.  But we’ll be trying it.)

In conclusion…

Many of us have been taking advantage of Yahoo’s dumb way of ranking ads purely by bid price for quite some time now.  Those days are over as of February 5.  What will now win the war is more granular targeting. 

In other words…

  • Choose good keyword phrases.
  • Write your search engine ad specifically for your keyword phrases.
  • Send them to a landing page specifically for that ad.
  • Convert them from that landing page.

Truthfully, this is the way good paid search engine marketing should work.  It’s better for the user.  Yahoo is now rewarding this way of working.

As you know, this is a lot of work.  Therefore, the new challenge will be determining which keywords bring the results that truly make this work worth your time and energy.