Yahoo Intros Cost-Per-Lead Search Ads, First New Format Under Marissa Mayer

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

In the 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.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Features: Analysis | Microsoft & Yahoo Search Deal | Top News | Yahoo: Search Ads


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  • Mike Stewart

    another tragedy… all in one day.

  • Alan

    And they think this is a good thing?

  • Scott Krager

    Yikes. Remember when a great search engine was 10 blue links, and a few non-intrusive ads on the sidebar? Those were the days….

  • Dan Farfan

    This is my new favorite phrase… lol.
    “..something of a groundbreaking. ”

    I have a hunch it’ll stay on top for quite some time (will be difficult to out do)!


  • Grace

    Could be a win for users. Enables them to request more info directly from the search page. I’d like to see more.

  • a1brandz

    This is win win situation for advertisers as Yahoo will charge for only legitimate leads.

  • HCG Diet

    I’ve been thinking on going to have an ads on Google, do you think I should try yahoo? I can’t afford both.. Any suggestions?

  • rmonitor

    Its a tough balance for Marissa Mayer. On one side she will have to do things to boost revenues and justify her position and on the other get some focus on the good products Yahoo has without losing revenue as initial costs will show up here. This move is more to do with the ‘revenue’ part.

  • Victoria Sog

    It looks like a great idea for me. I’m now thinking how to use this wonderful ad format in my industry

  • David Vallejo

    So now I’m paying for clicks on my organic rankings? Might as well reinstate paid inclusion so the rankings can at least be higher.

  • Gnosis Media Group

    So how and when will ordinary advertisers be able to sign up for this?

  • Matt Roney

    Sounds pretty cool to me. It doesn’t say anywhere that sites would have to pay for their listings–only for the pay-per-lead service. May start to make specialized landing pages a little less necessary, too.

  • Nato (Nate Orshan)

    Don’t wanna begrudge Yahoo! coming up with search advertising innovations, but how exactly are they going to counter the appearance that Cost Per Lead for Search influences that result’s rankings? “Advertorial”, indeed, and I’d think the FTC would be interested in taking a closer look…

  • Dudley Antoine

    Well said.

  • Justin Freid

    These ads are actually run by a company called Inadco and they were in plans way before Mayer came on board. There are two versions of the ad that will be available when it is rolled out completely.

    V1 – What you see above, where the fields appear below the current organic rankings.
    V2 – The fields will actually be bumped up to the top listing.

    The pricing depends on vertical and how many fields your have under your listing. The more fields, the higher the price.

    We are actually running a campaign for one of our clients and volume has been very limited. While we have seen solid CPA’s we have not been able to scale.

  • Keisha Stephen

    Definitely a win win situation for both users and advertisers. This article made me think about more ways it can benefit advertisers/businesses specifically in terms of the data that can be collected on engaged users – who they are, where they are located and targeted messaging or content that can be crafted thereafter based on this collected information. I’ve gone more into how this CPL format can generate leads in the blog:

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