Improving Your Yahoo! Quality Index Score

Most pay-per-click advertisers are familiar by now with concept of the PPC Quality Score. Advertisers running on the major search engines may think that the variables that Google looks at are the same as those at Yahoo!. Both Google’s Quality Score and Yahoo!’s Quality Index aim to provide a richer user experience for searchers. But advertisers that optimize their Yahoo! Sponsored Search accounts apart from their Google accounts can reap the benefit of a lower minimum bid and a lower cost per click.

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Quality Index

Quality Index, in the simplest sense, is Yahoo!’s relevancy measure of a sponsored search ad. Yahoo! assigns a Quality Index to each ad group and each text ad to determine your minimum bid and cost per click. While landing page quality and overall keyword competitiveness are factors in Yahoo!’s Quality Index, the most important factor is your ad’s click through rate (CTR). Here are some quick tips to improve your CTR and Yahoo! Quality Index:

  • Establish a market-to-message match. Use the primary keyword in each ad group in your text ads. Use the keyword in the title and at least once in the description to establish relevancy, and to make your ad stand out when a user searches for the exact query. This will lead to a higher CTR, which in turn will improve the Quality Index.

  • Test multiple ads in each ad group. Try variations with dynamic keyword insertion, so that the title of the ad contains the exact match query that a user has typed.

  • Use closely related keyword phrases. Make sure your ad groups are tightly packed with keyword phrases that are closely related to each other. Over time, either pause keywords with poor CTRs or split them off into separate ad groups, as keywords with low CTRs can drag down the Quality Index of an entire ad group.

  • Make use of Excluded Keywords. This will prevent your ads from triggering on irrelevant keywords if you are running on Advanced Match. Yahoo! Sponsored Search lets you add Excluded Keywords at both the account and campaign levels, so structure your ad groups into thematically-related campaigns to take advantage of campaign-level filters.

By taking steps to improve your Quality Index, you can not only enhance the effectiveness of your marketing messages but also improve your Sponsored Search ad ranking—all without having to resort to raising your bids.

Lee Goldberg
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