Yahoo Thinks You’re a Hoser! Tell ‘em to “Take Off Eh”

By Tad Miller | Jun 26, 2008
More Articles by Tad


With apologies to Bob and Doug McKenzie, sometimes the most obvious things are right under your own nose and you don’t even realize it. To my amazement I recently realized that the default setting for Yahoo Sponsored Search is actually not just the United States, but the US and CANADA. They label this setting as “Entire Market” which sounds comforting from a coverage standpoint until you get into the details of what that entails. This is not the default setting on Google Adwords or MSN Adcenter.

These geo-targeting settings can have a huge impact on your Yahoo budget settings, impressions, clicks and click-through rate. You can actually see the potential difference they make in when you compare US vs. The Entire Market settings in the Campaign Budget Estimating tool on Yahoo Sponsored Search.

A test for one of my biggest Campaigns showed the following differences in estimates between advertising just in the US vs. The Entire Market:

  • Daily Budget Estimate: Entire Market-$700 vs. US Only $644 (An 8% difference)
  • Estimated Impressions: Entire Market-23,654 vs. US Only 20,483 (A 13% difference)
  • Estimated Clicks: Entire Market-926 vs. US Only 867 (A 7% difference)
  • Estimated Click-Through-Rate: Entire Market-3.91% vs. US Only 4.23%

The difference is significant. Especially considering this particular client has a separate Canadian subsidiary and the client can only sell in the US. The difference in eliminating Canadian traffic should be improved traffic quality. I’m also hoping that the improvement in Click-Through Rate will improve Yahoo’s Quality Index Score.

You can edit this setting in the Campaign Settings, then click “edit” in the Campaign Geo-targeting Box. Then select “Specific Regions” as your geo-targeting preference. You can then individually select the 50 United States or de-select the Canadian provinces.

This is really a lot of work to get what I think should be the real default setting. It’s kind of scary to think how much money Yahoo is making off of US advertisers who only sell in the US with having this as a default setting (Me included). They don’t always make it easy to find the tools that you can use to optimize their traffic, and this is no exception.

I think I’ll spend my savings on Elsinore Beer and hope they figured out their mouse problem

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