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January 26, 2007

Yahoo’s Attempt at Quality Score

By Account Deleted

Yahooadveritising It appears that Yahoo's introduction of Ad Quality, which is being officially released on February 5th, is becoming the buzz in the SEM Industry. But is it really going to be an "eye-popping" event or just another scheme to keep us testing and spending our hard earned advertising dollars? Usually, the first thing that comes to mind if your an SEM geek, like myself, is assuming this is Yahoo’s attempt of mimicking Google's ever-popular Quality score. Google’s quality score, which “in theory” consists of relevancy from the keyword level, Ad/creative level and landing page where relevancy and SEO techniques are starting to play a significant role in the rewarding of CPC and AVG Position.

However, Yahoo’s attempt at quality score appears to be only a ¾ of the way there. In fact, according to the recent Yahoo's Press Release, their Ad quality is exactly what it sounds like, the quality of the Ad/Creative and the impact that is has on it’s users.  Yahoo is basing their new Ad Quality on a few common factors: (1) Historical performance (2) CTR% related to competitors & Ad position (3) Yahoo's coined phrase “Expected Performance". Now, all of a sudden Yahoo has their own ranking algorithm for determining the winners and losers.

Score So the million dollar question is... How do you crack the code? What is surprising to me is that nowhere in the press release do you find any mention of word “landing page”. So in theory, Yahoo is simplifying the Google quality score algorithm, and just concerning itself with Ads and the selection of keywords of where the ads are being served. Could it be that these other “various relevance factors” could include landing pages, relevant keyword groupings and url naming structures. I guess this is their way of keeping their customers guessing on how to save a buck for the long term, while in the short term, forcing us to continue to spend money on testing to see what is really working and what is not.

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