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Monday, February 12, 2007

5 Tips for a Top Yahoo! Ad Quality Score

Posted by @ 4:23 am

As of last Monday, Yahoo!’s new Panama PPC ad quality score has taken effect. Similar to the Google AdWord’s ad scoring system, Yahoo!’s version also means that top sponsored listing positions take more than just high click price bids.

Implementation of quality score is key to Yahoo! maintaining relevance in its sponsored search results. While bids still play some role in the pay-per-click ads positions, it removes those irrelevant ads that were being displayed purely because advertisers had bigger budgets than their more relevant counterparts.

So what does this mean for you as a Yahoo! advertiser?
While Yahoo!’s ad score levels the playing field and should hopefully addresses some issues with escalating bid prices, it also means that getting strong pay-per-click ad positions is no longer going to be as easy has it has been.

Simply put, if you follow some simple steps to improve your quality score, you should see more traffic for less cost – So here’s the tips.

YahooSarah shared some initial insights on a how the quality score works via a forum on WebmasterWorld:

“Remember that more than click-through rate influences the quality of an ad: The quality of an ad is determined relative to other ads displayed at the same time by both its expected performance going forward and its historical performance. Historical performance data was not purged on February 5, but as time passes, the data generated after the launch of the new ranking model will have the strongest influence on ad quality calculations.

The time it takes to take both expected and historical performance into account to measure ad quality depends on the volume of searches related to a keyword. Keywords with lots of daily searches often generate enough data in a relatively short period of time until historical performance is a stronger factor for ad quality within that marketplace…”

So how do you boost your quality score?
Thanks to Loren Baker, who provided a heads up on an old patent application he located that might shed some light on the score basis, here’s an explanation of the implications:

1. The click bid price: yes, price will play some role, so don’t expect the Yahoo! quality score to suddenly mean free pay-per-click traffic.

2. Historical Click Through Data: while YahooSarah suggests its not the sole determinant, previous click through trends are the most obvious basis to determine ad quality.

3. Historical Conversion Data: the patent application suggests that conversion on the destination web page will influence position. I am not sure how they plan on gathering this data, but it makes your landing page quality an important factor which Google have also used in their scoring system.

4. Organic ranking of the destination web page: it makes sense that if a web page ranks highly for a keyword in the organic search results, then it’s likely to be relevant for the sponsored listings also. This will put pressure on poorly optimized pages and brings the value of an integrated SEO and pay-per-click campaign. It does present a challenge for those of us who use conversion driven landing pages often not indexed by the search engines.

5. Use of keyword/term in elements of the PPC campaign: the use of the keyword term or phrase in your ad title, ad copy, URL, displayed destination web page, organic page keyword meta data and description will enhance your ads Yahoo! quality score.

So in essence, the new Yahoo! ad quality score addresses 3 key areas:
1. Your sponsored ads performance
2. The quality and relevance of your landing page
3. The level of search engine and keyword optimization of your ad and destination web page.

So if you’re managing your own Yahoo! Search Marketing campaign, it’s time to review the optimization of your ads and landing pages and start making your search marketing efforts more holistic; taking an integrated approach to both paid search advertising and good old fashioned search engine optimization.

If you are looking to get your first campaigns started, now you have the perfect roadmap for ensuring you get your Yahoo! Search Marketing campaign started right.

Now if it all seems too hard and you’re too busy to run a campaign yourself, look for a quality manage PPC service. There are many around that remove the hassle of managing sponsored listing campaigns. We recently launched a new PPC management service that provides professional campaign management for less than a cup of coffee a day – Easy PPC gives you Google and Yahoo! pay-per-click campaign management for only $2 per day.

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

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