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Yahoo! Rich Ads in Search

Posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, SEM, Video

Search engines are implementing more rich media – video, pictures, reviews, maps, etc. – in search results and Yahoo’s  Rich Ads in Search (RAIS)  is one of the programs leading the charge. Currently in beta testing with only a few advertisers, RAIS is planned for full back end integration starting mid Q4 ‘09. At this time, RAIS will shift to a CPC & bided marketplace model which should open the floodgates to all advertisers. Here is some of the basic information on the program as you consider including rich media in your Yahoo SEM brand campaigns.

Video served on RAIS will initially show as a thumbnail…


Until clicked. The video opens up and extends the page, essentially pushing down all other listings. Videos can be viewed full screen without leaving the search page & can also be shared with social sites and blogs.


  • RAIS will host any length of video. Videos under one minute generally work best but Yahoo reports having some clients running branding videos up to 4 minutes long.
  • If video is not used, other templates include an image variation where a brand logo highlights the SERP ad and the searcher is given various actionable, deep linking options.
  • Up to 4 additional landing page links can be included to show in the results so customizable links can drive traffic to top converting pages.
  • RAIS ads will only currently show in the upper North placement of your brand SERP.
  • Keywords included in the RAIS program will run on exact match only.
  • Only brand & brand modified keywords can be included in RAIS campaigns. For example, the site ChadsRadBikes.com could have ‘chadsradbikes.com’ & ‘chadsradbikes’ but also ‘chadsradbikes homepage’, ‘find chadsradbikes.com’, ‘chads rad bikes newsletter’, etc. & even misspellings. Some of the initial participants are currently running over 400 keywords in their RAIS campaign.
  • RAIS ads will replace existing sponsored search ads on the brand terms selected. Regular text sponsored search ads will appear on advanced match queries and on partner networks for those brand terms.
  • Currently, the keyword set & marketplace determine pricing. RAIS beta now has a minimum cost of $15K/month but this will rise depending on spend of the KW set you want served. Higher volume keywords are more expensive and some low volume keywords will not increase pricing at all.

Here are a few additional ‘best practices’ to consider when using video in SEM:

  • Online Video is generally displayed at 425 (width) by 355 (height). Import your video as close to this as possible to avoid stretching.
  • Have call to action at end of video to instruct the viewer on ‘next steps’.
  • Post quality content only – Why should people care? Videos should have a quality picture, sound, music as well.
  • Make it easy for users to grab video and share it on rich media and social sites.
  • Make sure your URL appears in the video – generally best placed at the beginning since engagement falls off rapidly after  10-15 seconds.

About Ryan Jamison

Ryan has been at The Search Agency since 2008 and now serves as Senior Group Director of Paid Search. Past employers include Yahoo!, Inc. and STAR Education. Ryan is a graduate of UC Berkeley with postgraduate study completed at the American Film Institute. Ryan has over nine years of experience in creative advertising for both TV and search engine marketing. His hobbies include sports, music and enjoying the deserts and beaches of Southern California.

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4 Responses to “Yahoo! Rich Ads in Search”

  1. milan pandya says:

    How you been aware of yahoo beta “glue page”.

    It is shown in yahoo india. There are no ads on this page. I wonder, how they will incorporate ads into this one.

    Milan Pandya

  2. David Hughes says:

    Very interesting update on the new rich display search ads, thanks.

  3. frank lee says:

    this seems like a great opportunity to protect your brand terms on Yahoo and ensure you control the brand experience. nice write up.

  4. Ryan Jamison says:

    It will be very interesting to see how many advertisers jump on board when RAIS becomes available to everyone.

    Milan, thanks for your response about Yahoo’s ‘Glue Page’. Glue offers a very dynamic results page for general terms like ‘basketball’ or ‘diabetes’. It probably proved too ‘rich’ for US advertisers as it competes with the basic text ad SERPs that have been widely adopted here. It will be interesting to see if more Glue-like SERPs are implemented into the US as more rich media platforms like RAIS are adopted.

    Here is a link to the Beta ‘Glue Page’:



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