Mixed response to Yahoo’s Rich Ads plan

Yahoo’s plans to introduce images and videos with paid search results has garnered a mixed response from UK search specialists.

The company revealed its Rich Ads in Search model, which will serve images, video, custom search boxes and even company logos within results, designed to provide users with a broader search experience and advertisers with greater reach for display ads.

Speaking on the Yahoo Search Marketing blog, blog editor Jeff Sweat said tests with a limited number of US advertisers, including Pepsi and Pedigree, saw clicks-through-rates increase by up to 25%.

“The results are ads that can combine the relevance of search with the impact of rich media,” said Sweat.

Yahoo has not revealed Rich Ads in Search’s financial model, however reports suggest advertiser’s can buy placements or tenancy against specific search terms, such as their brand, as opposed to entering an auction.

Despite welcoming Yahoo’s innovation, UK search specialists have questioned its long-term effectiveness.

Jonathan Beeston, client services director at Efficient Frontier, said, “It’s clear [Yahoo] is looking to attract FMCG brands, which haven’t traditionally pumped a lot of money into search.

“However, part of that’s because people don’t search directly for those brand terms, I’d be interested to see if this is going to be rolled out to brand associations,” he added. “So that if you’re searching for David Beckham you see the latest Pepsi ad with him in it.”

Likewise, Paul Mead, MD of VCCP Search, said. “Brand display campaigns are usually targeted towards pretty detailed and honed demographic profiles, but that’s not something that’s as easy to do on traditional PPC platforms, so I’m not sure it will it fully convince those brand advertisers to get involved.”

However, Oliver Rapson, director of paid search at Steak, said, “There is huge potential for brands with a strong visual identity to take advantage of this upgrade to Yahoo’s paid search platform. Brands looking to use this functionality will have to pay a premium but it will be a worthwhile investment.”

Google and Microsoft have both announced trials of similar offerings, however Yahoo will be the first to fully roll-out an official platform.

A Google spokesman told new media age, “We’re constantly testing innovative ways to engage users through search and provide advertisers with new ways to reach potential customers, but we have nothing new to announce at this time.”

This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk

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