5 Tips to Leverage Yahoo Gemini for Mobile PPC

The story for Yahoo continues. What chapter of this book we’re on, I don’t know – I’ve lost track. When Yahoo and Microsoft inked the Search Alliance deal, Yahoo’s position as innovator in the world of PPC all but evaporated. Sure, Yahoo still had its premium display, but that was it.

Fast-forward to the present. Search Alliance is still intact. In fact, Yahoo found a way to contribute more to that partnership through its deal to become the default search engine within Mozilla Firefox. Through all of this, Yahoo has somewhat quietly been rolling out the Gemini platform. We’re more than 1.5 years into the Gemini experiment, and it has emerged as an intriguing channel that is a hybrid of mobile search PPC and native advertising.

You may be asking, “But John, Yahoo is locked into the Search Alliance! It can’t do its own PPC platform.” Yes, yes it can. Yahoo has new Web property in the form of smartphone and tablet apps that came about after the Search Alliance. This is where the mobile PPC portion of Gemini lives. Now there is a real third option for mobile PPC outside of AdWords and Bing Ads.

Without further ado, here are five tips for getting the most out of Yahoo Gemini for mobile search PPC:

1. Choose Keywords, Not Audiences.

Because Gemini is a hybrid of mobile search and native advertising, there are multiple targeting features as your disposal. You are set to target both search and native by default, so you have to take an extra step to isolate mobile search ONLY.


2. Match Types!

It isn’t immediately obvious within Gemini that you can use match types, but they’re in there. I promise. Broad, phrase, exact, and negative. Whew! For those PPC old timers, you’ll need to dust of your minus (negative), bracket (exact), and quotation mark (phrase) keyword entry skills. Throwback to the max!


3. Bulk Upload.

Using spreadsheets is a staple in the digital advertising world. That being said, desktop editors and third-party managers have taken over as the management tool of choice among most advertisers. Regardless, bulk editing via spreadsheets is still better than ZERO bulk editing (*looks at LinkedIn Ads*). With this feature, you can quickly sort out keywords, match types, keyword bids, and ad copy.


4. (Slightly) Longer Text Ads.

At this point we’re all used to 25 characters for a headline, 35 and 35 for the two lines of body copy, respectively. These are PPC absolutes (if there is such a thing). Gemini gives us just a bit more to play with. Fifty characters for the headline and 150 for the body. I’m still testing if and where Yahoo is truncating this copy – so proceed with caution by testing longer copy and shorter copy that mirrors what you run in AdWords or Bing Ads.


5. Conversion Tracking.

This was a feature that was a glaring omission in Yahoo Gemini v1.0. Consider that gap filled. And it works, too! Take advantage of this to simplify conversion-based optimization for your keywords and ads.


It is worth noting that Yahoo Gemini is far from perfect. It has flaws like appearing to not have match types or ad groups – but the features are there. Just hidden. There are other features missing that enhance targeting like ad scheduling, etc. Furthermore, search inventory is not all that big.

Don’t let all of that kerfuffle deter you. Yahoo Gemini is developing fast, and who knows what tomorrow holds. One exciting feature to note is that Yahoo’s developers are working hard to bring features to the table. One such feature is a connection to your UET tag in Bing Ads. This would mean two things: 1) simplified conversion tracking installation and 2) getting retargeting capabilities within Gemini. That’s right, mobile search retargeting AND retargeting for native ads. The future is here people! And it is exciting and full of (Yahoo) purple.

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