We wanted to remind you about the upcoming launch and answer questions that we received in response to our original announcement.
- When will these algorithms start working? How can we assess their effect once they are implemented?
As of May 15, the system will predict the likelihood of conversion for just a small share of search traffic, and raise or lower bids in accordance with the prediction. Later on, we will gradually expand the share of search traffic that the algorithms optimize on search as we continue to monitor their results.
In a few months, we will be able to review the algorithms' performance, but only after they have begun to optimize all search traffic.
- Will Search CPC increase?
No, your campaigns' average CPC will remain unchanged. Their performance, however, should improve, as the purpose of optimization is to bring you more conversions for your budget.
As for prices, remember that automatic bid adjustments are not a one-way road: bid adjustments will raise your bid for more promising users, but will lower your bid if the user shows less of a likelihood of converting. This means that your overall average CPC will remain at the same level as before.
Moreover, Yandex Search uses a VCG auction model, meaning that the final click price as a rule is far lower than the bid set by the advertiser. Even if a positive bid adjustment is applied to a user more likely to convert, the click price is unlikely to exceed your maximum bid.
- What will happen to external bid management systems?
They will continue to perform as they have been. Your campaign will continue to function based on the bids for keywords that your bidder calculates.
In some cases, a bid adjustment will be applied, but the average CPC for the keyword will remain within the limits you set, and the calculations your bid management system relies on will continue to add up.
Our optimization algorithms respond to behavioral signals and user interests (that, we should mention, no external system can see). This data makes it possible to prevent your budget from being spent on users unlikely to convert, without stopping your bidder from buying traffic for keywords at the price you set or from taking your goals into account.
- Why can't I opt out of optimization?
For the same reason that we couldn't leave the second price auction for those users who weren't ready to get used to the specifics of the VCG auction. Introducing a new logic for traffic purchases, one that takes the likelihood of conversion and past performance into account, means this logic must be implemented across the board, so that all advertisers enjoy the same benefits in auctions.
Your manually set bids will continue to be used to manage your campaigns. In some cases, positive or negative bid adjustments will apply to certain clicks, but in general your bids will remain at the same level.
And remember, you have other options — we suggest using automated strategies that can purchase the right clicks and limit your CPC.
- How will optimization work if I have a lot of different goals on my Yandex.Metrica tag? Will it work if I don't have Yandex.Metrica installed on my site at all?
The system analyzes user sessions directly and looks for behavior that typically indicates a likelihood to complete the action you consider to be a conversion, whether that be placing an order or viewing your contacts page. In the process of developing this technology, we taught Yandex.Direct to discern between conversions and those actions that are typical of users at the top end of the sales funnel. It's up to you what kind of goals to set for your site, and doing so will not affect the optimization process in any way. Moreover, our algorithms will perform correctly even if you make a mistake when setting goals for your Yandex.Metrica tag.
The algorithms can optimize bids even on sites that don't have Yandex.Metrica installed: Yandex.Direct's response is based on aggregated data about the user and can predict how interested a user is in a purchase based on their past searches and online behavior.
- What alternatives do you offer for managing search campaigns? What tools are available to manage my budget?
When using manual strategies, we highly recommend you set up priority goals and set values for them, so that the Yandex.Direct algorithms use your goals as a guideline.
To manage your CPC in Yandex.Direct, there's the "Average Weekly CPC" strategy, that maintains an average value over the course of a week, and "Weekly budget: Maximum clicks," in which you can set your maximum CPC.
If you are interested in orienting your ad campaigns toward a return on your investment, we recommend the automatic bid management strategies "Average CPA", "Weekly budget: Maximum conversion rate" or "Average ROI." Using automated strategies not only saves you time, but also provides a range of technological benefits in comparison to manual bid strategies.
- What is the maximum amount that CPC can be raised by?
The average CPC for your campaigns will remain unchanged, and bid adjustments are individual for each advertiser. They depend on your average CPA as well as the probability forecast for each impression. In any case, the algorithms will use your bids and other limitations in your campaign as a guideline.
- I think that the conversion forecasts are not applicable for my campaigns and will be miscalculated.
Conversion probability forecasts are calculated individually and take the average CR of your specific campaign into account. Even if your campaign differs from others in terms of the subject or user behavior, bid adjustments are only applied when the probability of conversion is significantly higher or lower than the average figures in that campaign.
We highly recommend you set up priority goals and set values for them, so that the Yandex.Direct algorithms use your goals as a guideline.
- Will this launch affect the average display position of my ads for specific keywords?
No, automatic bid adjustments do not affect your average display position for a keyword. They apply to specific ad impressions to users who noticeably diverge from the average likelihood of conversion for your campaign overall.