International PPC: Yandex Major 2013 Roll Outs

In November, I and a colleague of mine had a pleasure attending the International PPC training in Las Vegas. Besides trends in International PPC, search and online shopping habits across multiple countries, we got an amazing 2-day training on advertising on Yandex. As Client Managers, that manage PPC campaigns on Yandex.Direct we know that utilizing this Russian Search engine can be challenging, especially if you do not speak the language. The functionalities in both the UI and an offline tool are quite limited: what takes you a couple minutes in Google takes way more time in Yandex. Fortunately, Yandex understands that more and more companies across the globe are interested in promoting their services/products on Yandex and they are making strides in catching up with industry best practices and a more user friendly interface.

One of the major international PPC friendly roll-outs this year is the new multilingual version of Yandex. Direct Commander. For those who are new to Yandex, the Yandex. Direct Commander is an offline tool that allows to quickly manage multiple campaigns and ads.  Although it does not have the same functionalities, as, for example, the Adwords Editor, it is still quite useful for tasks like bulk manual bid setting, finding specific key terms out of thousands phrases, multiple keywords editing, replacing text and links in multiple ads etc. Previously, this tool was exclusively in Russian, so non-Russian-speaking PPCers could not really utilize it. Luckily, the latest version of Yandex. Direct Commander 2.8 has multilingual interfaces in English, Ukrainian and Turkish. The reason for having the Ukrainian and Turkish languages is that Yandex currently claims to have a market share of 33 and 6 percent in Ukraine and Turkey respectively ( The latest version also features the new tab-Ad Groups (ad groups are covered later in the post). In this tab, the following parameters can be customized—name, geotargeting and common negatives for an ad group.Yandex 1Multilingual interface in Direct Commander is not the only feature that has been introduced recently. Long-awaited ad groups came to Yandex. Direct. In this tab, the following parameters can be customized— ad group name, keywords, geotargeting, bids and negatives on the ad group level, while ad title, sitelinks, ad text, display and destination URLs are set on the ad level. Ad Groups are ideal for the A/B, aka split, tests. Each campaign can have no more than 1000 ad groups with 50 ads in each.

Yandex’s new campaign structure is similar to what we have in Google Adwords: a set of phrases is “attached” to several text ads. To start working with ad groups, the user needs to check “Start working with Ad Groups” box in user settings.  Yandex 2While working with ad groups, the following should be kept in mind:

a) Only one ad from an ad group will be shown at a time.

b) In the beginning, all ads will be rotated evenly. However, as soon as they accumulate history, the system will start showing the ads with best statistics.

c) Even if there is one old and some new ads within one ad group, all the ads will be rotated evenly and the best performing ads will be selected.

d) Ads’ CTRs are affected not only by the quality of the ads’ texts, but also by the users’ behavior. Thus, even identical ads can be shown with a different frequency.

e) The CTR is calculated for the whole ad group and it ensures the entry into the selected ad block (guaranteed or premium placement).

f) There are three ways of managing ad groups:

-through xls

-through API

-though Yandex. Direct Commander (enable and disable ads, pause and delete an ad group, edit ad group settings. Note: ad parameters cannot be edited in Direct Commander)

g) Performance summary of an ad group can be found on the campaign’s page. The performance of each ad from an ad group can be found in the Statistics tab. Yandex 3It is great to see that Yandex is moving in the right direction and we are very excited to test the new releases. Also, according to our trainers, Yandex is very open for reasonable suggestions regarding the further improvement of the platform. If you have anything particular in mind, feel free to share on one of the Yandex Internet resources and you (we) will maybe be heard!

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