Yahoo Advertising is introducing something of a groundbreaking new ad unit, inserting a cost-per-lead ad just under a site’s listing within the organic search results. It also allows Yahoo a new way to earn off search separately from its deal with Microsoft, which has proven disappointing for the company.
The new ad format, which can collect information like demographics, email addresses or phone numbers, is called Cost Per Lead for Search. It’s clearly marked as “Ad from” with the advertiser’s name following.
Advertisers can choose a headline, logo and up to six individual fields for users to fill out. The “thank you” text that appears after users complete the form can also be customized.
The Cost Per Lead for Search ads are already appearing for online dating site Match.com:
In the Match.com example, once a user submits the information and gets the thank you message, a new tab is opened up automatically so the person can finish filling out their online dating profile.
Yahoo says it will verify all submitted user data so advertisers pay only for legitimate leads. The company didn’t elaborate on minimums or costs but said pricing will vary by product or service.
Rather than an auction-based process, prices will be set via advertiser size and vertical, a Yahoo spokesperson told me. Only one such ad will appear per SERP, and if two advertisers are eligible, the higher-ranked one will be shown. Rather than being targeted by keyword, the ads appear every time the organic result shows up — the ad doesn’t change the ranking, just “annotates” the organic listing.
Yahoo gets its organic search, and many paid listings, via its relationship with Bing Advertising. The company handles relationships with larger advertisers itself,however, and says marketers interested in the new ad format should contact their sales representative.
The closest we’ve seen to this ad unit in search is a cost-per-lead AdWords format that Google launched earlier this year. This is the first new search-related ad unit released by Yahoo in quite some time, and comes under the fairly new leadership of former Googler Marissa Mayer.