Yahoo Sponsored Search advertisers can now target ads down to individual ZIP codes, according to an announcement today on the Yahoo Search Marketing blog.
Yahoo joins Ask.com as the only major search engine to offer specific ZIP code-based targeting to advertisers. While Google AdWords doesn’t offer exact ZIP code targeting, it does allow advertisers to use ZIP codes as the basis for ad targeting (i.e., “ads will show 20 miles around 99352″) and lets advertisers draw custom target areas to show their ads (which could be drawn to match ZIP codes).
The new geo-targeting option is available now to all Yahoo Sponsored Search advertisers under the “Campaigns >> Campaign Settings” tab in your account. “ZIP/Postal Code” has been added as one of the drop-down menu options on the “Target By:” field.
Once ZIP code targeting has been chosen, the advertiser supplies a list of ZIP codes to Yahoo, which then draws the targeted area based on those ZIP codes.
As with any geo-targeted advertising, perfect accuracy isn’t guaranteed. As Yahoo explains in the Sponsored Search system, “Please note that geo-targeting accuracy is not guaranteed and may vary depending on the level of targeting selected, as well as other factors.” Still, businesses wanting to target individual ZIP codes, rather than entire cities, will welcome the new option in Yahoo Sponsored Search.
Greg Sterling’s blog post about today’s news offers additional thoughts on Yahoo’s announcement and the future of geo-targeted advertising, especially in the comment section.