The Skinny on Yahoo’s Native Search Retargeting Feature

By Shelby Huckeba in Media Strategy on May 15th, 2017

Yahoo recently rolled out Search Retargeting on Native (SRN). This update shows native ads to users who searched your keywords over the last seven days. Gemini creates the native ads using your current search ads and URLs and incorporates them with images that you upload within the account. These ads can show on any Yahoo property the eligible user is in, e.g., the Yahoo homepage, finance or sports section. While this can be beneficial to retarget users who are already interested in your offering, it can also be dangerous because you cannot block your ads from showing with certain content.

If you’re running Gemini, your accounts have been, or will automatically be, opted into this feature. And be warned: do not let the word ‘opt’ fool you, as you cannot opt out of Search Retargeting on Native.

digital advertising agency, gemini, search, SEO

What are the benefits of Yahoo search retargeting on native?

Retargeting based on a user’s search history allows you to reach users even when they aren’t searching on your keywords. This helps increase traffic while maintaining relevance. SRN populates the creative and landing pages based on the individual query the user performs, which allows for a tailored message.

What are the concerns?

The biggest concern is that you cannot opt out of this new feature. If you are seeing poor performance from SRN, you have very few methods for optimization (limited to bid adjustments and images). There may also be concern over brand safety, as the native ads can display with any content on Yahoo’s properties. We do not have the ability to blacklist sites or block content with these native ads.

How does SRN perform?

Yahoo internally tested this feature with a handful of advertisers and saw the pilot drive 20% more traffic while maintaining the same ROI as search campaigns. However, BKV SEM is seeing a bit of a different scenario with some of our clients. Here’s a look at what one of our clients is seeing for native vs. search ads:

  • Impressions are 301% higher on native
  • CTR is 91% lower on native
  • CPC is 117% higher on native
  • CR is 51% lower on native
  • Cost/conversion is 343% higher on native

How can advertisers improve native performance?

The only factors an advertiser can control in regards to SRN are uploading images and adjusting campaign bid modifiers.

  • Images need to be sized at 1200x627 and 627x627
  • Bid modifiers can be between -90% to a positive 100%

Upload a relevant image to increase your native CTR. Like any search campaign, monitor the performance of native and adjust your bid strategy and images accordingly.


Interested in exploring Gemini and SRN?

Let our media team help.