Have you heard about Yahoo Gemini? Gemini is a PPC platform owned and operated by Yahoo that serves PPC native ads across all devices and will serve text ads on mobile devices on Yahoo and Yahoo partner sites. Interestingly enough, Yahoo is defining mobile devices as tablets and smartphones — a departure from how AdWords and Bing Ads defines mobile devices. By grouping these two together, mobile performance metrics may be skewed when compared to other platforms such as AdWords or Bing Ads.
Gemini is Yahoo’s first major innovation and investment in the realm of search ad technology, and CEO Marissa Mayer has said that she plans to focus on the space as an “area of investment and opportunity.”
Mayer also admitted that Yahoo’s search efforts have been trading share with Microsoft/Bing for some time. Naturally, this has made for an interesting relationship with Microsoft/Bing to say the least.
Why All the Fuss About Yahoo Gemini?
In February, Yahoo and Bing announced a deal that would allow Yahoo to serve ads on Yahoo search and partner sites for 49 percent of desktop traffic. Previously, 100 percent of ads were served from Bing Ads. In addition, ads served on mobile and tablet devices on Yahoo and Yahoo partner sites would also be 100 percent from Yahoo Gemini. So, the question is, how much traffic does this really represent?
Yahoo.com is said to comprise a hefty portion (possibly around 40 percent) of the Yahoo-Bing Network, and smartphone and tablet traffic account for a bit less than half of total search volume on Yahoo. Therefore, it can be deduced that about 10 to 15 percent of Yahoo traffic could be impacted.
Will this cut into Google’s portion of the pie?
No, at least not yet. Experts report that it appears that Yahoo is gaining share from Bing Ads rather than Google. In other words, Yahoo and Bing are taking shares from one another and have not yet affected Google’s portion of the pie. With that being said, when Yahoo struck a deal with Firefox to replace Google with Yahoo as the browser’s default search engine last year, Yahoo’s search share increased by 8.4 percent.
Management of Yahoo Gemini Ads
Aside from API access, there are two ways to currently manage Yahoo Gemini ads. The first is through a connection via Bing Ads, and the other is directly through the interface. The Yahoo Gemini interface currently lacks many of the features of its counterparts, including ad extensions, mobile bid multipliers, and most notably revenue tracking. While conversion tracking is an enabled feature, the lack of revenue data directly in the interface is a feature planned to be rolled out in the future. Therefore, it may simply be too early to tell if the platform will be able to compete with Bing Ads or AdWords.
In conclusion, Yahoo Gemini doesn’t represent a major shift in traffic but will be a platform that should be a part of your marketing strategy in the future. Advertising on Gemini, especially early on, presents a good opportunity to gain additional market share from those competitors not yet using this platform.