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Yandex Direct Embraces Extended Text Ads (ETAs)


An exciting announcement was made in mid-August by Yandex, Russia’s number one search engine. This search giant, which currently holds 60% market share in Russia (with Google lagging behind as the second most popular search engine) revealed an interesting new PPC feature, namely the introduction of Extended Text Ads. Following suit from Google & Bing, which introduced ETAs in 2016, Yandex Direct is now also offering its advertisers more space for the creation of their promotional messages.

How are Yandex ads changing?

Back in 2015 Yandex had already introduced a default option for longer ad titles, which could reach a max of 56 characters including spaces and which, according to Yandex, would help boost traffic by up to 3%.  Therefore, the structure of standard ads could be made up of a short headline of max 33 characters or an extended headline of up to 56. The body of the ad text had one description line of max 75 characters including spaces, and one display URL of max 20 characters after the domain.

The change brought about by the extended text ads is indeed quite significant because these will now allow two ad titles (max 35 and 30 characters each), and they will limit one single word to max 22 characters. Advertisers should be aware that the two titles may not always appear due to the display configuration of the device they are using. Because of this, Yandex suggests to make the two titles short, catchy, and most importantly independent, so that both could exist without one another and the ad would still make perfect linguistic sense.

As for the body of the ads, the new limit is 81 characters, where a single word shouldn’t exceed 23 characters. In addition to the above new limits, another exceptional update which contributes to further extending the available ad space (and which is truly unique to Yandex) is related to punctuation. In fact, Yandex ETAs can now contain up to 15 punctuation symbols, in either the titles or the body, which will not eat into the character limit. The main symbols this applies to are commas, question marks, exclamation marks, colons and semi colons.

Below you can see an example of the Yandex ad creation interface for Extended Text Ads:


Comparing Yandex ETAs with Google & Bing

The length of ETAs for Google and Bing is pretty much the same, as they are both made up of the following main parts:

  • Two headlines of 30 characters each
  • One description line up to 80 characters
  • Two optional path fields for the display URL (15 character max)

The consistency across search engines when it comes to extended text ads is very convenient as it allows international advertisers to simply export their existing Google/Bing campaigns in CSV format using the ‘export’ feature found on the PPC platform they are using. Just as easily, the files can then be uploaded onto Yandex Direct.

The above process is indeed very straightforward. However, from an optimisation point of view advertisers should always make sure that their Yandex ads target the keywords they are using in the campaigns, which may be different from those found in a Google/ Bing account. This is particularly important because adding targeted keywords in the ad title contributes towards increasing relevancy between ads and keywords which, in turn, helps to achieve a better Productivity Index in Yandex. Remember: you should not just copy your campaigns from one search engine to another, but you should instead make sure they are properly localised for their specific market and target keywords!

How do ETAs impact on advertisers’ campaigns?

Without a doubt, the key benefit of Yandex ETAs is having more options available. Advertisers can take advantage of the extra characters and share more powerful messages with internet users, adding more info about their products and services.

In addition, ETAs should positively impact on performance. In fact, based on tests made by Yandex itself, longer ads are likely to boost CTRs with an increase of up to 5% for desktop and up to 10% for mobile.

Finally, as the new ETAs character limits now match those of Google and Bing, it will be easier to standardise your message across campaigns and to access new search engines without having to completely re-write your ads: a big helping hand in saving time and reducing costs for the campaign set-up!


Surely the introduction of ETAs has brightened the day of existing as well as future advertisers on Yandex. So, if you haven’t already done so, go ahead and start testing this new ad format.


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Valeria D'Amato

Senior Account Manager at Webcertain
Valeria has an extensive linguistic background and an MA degree in Translation and Interpreting from Leeds University, the UK. As a speaker of three languages – Italian, English and Spanish – she has a passion for working in a multicultural environment. She joined Webcertain in November 2007, when her experience as a PPC Specialist started. Her role progressed to that of a Search Linguistic Manager, looking after Webcertain’s linguistic pool, resourcing and coordinating multilingual search marketing projects and providing SEO and PPC training. She moved back to her native Italy in 2012, where she now works as a Senior Account Manager, supporting clients to successfully manage digital campaigns in a variety of industries. Over the years, she has successfully coordinated and supported digital projects related to social media, SEO and content marketing across multiple international search platforms like Google, Yandex, Baidu and Naver.

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