Quality Score Hints From Yahoo

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With the recent launch of the Panama platform, Yahoo is working to educate its advertising partners on new ways that ads will be ranked. Beginning February 5th, Yahoo will begin employing a ranking model basic on quality score, which will be calculated based on a number of factors.

Quality score is the new term du-jour in search marketing circles these days. When Google first announced its plans to implement quality score to rank landing pages, and the subsequent impact that the score would have on the minimum bids for keywords, the response was less than satisfactory – at least initially.

The dilemma, of course, was that Google failed to provide any concrete details on what factors would positively or negatively impact quality score, leaving most of its advertising partners in the dark.

Yahoo has learned from Google’s mistake, and is proactively working with its advertisers by giving them some tips to optimize quality score.

Frank Watson at Search Engine Watch documents a pretty detailed e-mail from Yahoo concerning quality score. Here are the main points:

The Key Changes

•   An ad’s rank will be determined by both bid amount and ad quality.
•   Ads with higher quality can deliver a lower cost per click and/or may receive better placement on the results page relative to lower quality ads.
•   Standard match type ads will no longer receive priority placement over Advanced match type ads.

How To Take Advantage Of The New Ranking Model

•   Include keywords in your ad (use our Insert Keyword feature).
•   Choose keywords for each ad group carefully.
•   Craft ads that are more specific and relevant to your keywords.
•   Test different landing pages.
•   Use ad testing.
•   Use our [Yahoo’s] Excluded Keyword feature to help optimize your Advanced match type ads.
•   Review your current bids and set a campaign budget to meet your business goals.

Yahoo also offers some great tips on optimizing landing pages, which becomes increasingly important in achieving high quality scores.

According to Yahoo, these are some of the pitfalls to avoid:

•   Pages that harm accuracy, diversity or relevance of search results
•   Pages dedicated to directing the user to another page
•   Pages that have substantially the same content as other pages
•   Sites with numerous, unnecessary virtual hostnames
•   Pages in great quantity, automatically generated or of little value
•   Pages using methods to artificially inflate search engine ranking
•   The use of text that is hidden from the user
•   Pages that give the search engine different content than what the end user sees
•   Excessively cross-linking sites to inflate a site’s apparent popularity
•   Pages built primarily for the search engines
•   Misuse of competitor names
•   Multiple sites offering the same content
•   Sites that use excessive pop-ups, interfering with user navigation
•   Pages that seem deceptive, fraudulent, or provide a poor user experience

The quality score rankings go into effect on Monday, so Yahoo advertising partners would do well to spend some time this upcoming weekend reviewing keyword strategies and landing page content in preparation for the new ranking model.

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Joe is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

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