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Yahoo has gotten overly strict in its attempt to only allow relevant sponsored search ads. We are finding that a lot of terms that are not directly related to the specific product or service are being automatically denied. We think this is short-sighted, because it eliminates the possibility of displaying your ads to those who would be strong candidates, but performing searches on other related topics. For example, if you sell diamond engagement rings, you may not be able to run ads for searches related to weddings.

We also have to admit that we’re fairly perplexed by Yahoo Search Marketing’s new Quality Index score that is applied to sponsored search ads. But here is a strategy to help deal with that particular issue:

Bid high at the start of the Yahoo campaign to generate as high a click-through ratio as possible. It seems that generating a high click-through ratio has a positive influence on the Quality score. Once you have established a Quality score, you can back off of your bids if you need to in order to maximize your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Another strategy is to pursue a tight coupling between keywords and ads. Yahoo allows you to dynamically insert keywords, but it may still be helpful to write lots of specific ads that are highly related to their keywords.

We like the new Yahoo interface, but we’re definitely not crazy about their new rules. But as we develop effective techniques for dealing with Yahoo (and the other search engines), we will be sure to share them with you here.

For help managing your Yahoo pay-per-click campaign, contact Work Media at 888-299-4837 or email Info@WorkMedia.net.