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Yandex PPC Update: Average Display And Click Position Now Available In Yandex Direct

yandex ppc update average display click position

Great news from Moscow! Based on the feedback of their international advertisers, the Yandex search engine has recently announced that there is now an option to run a report showing the average position of the PPC ads displayed on its search results page.

This improvement could easily be described as one of the most important ones in the last 2 years! Why? Speaking from my own, agency-side experience, up until this week it was pretty difficult to persuade any of my clients that we were doing a good job in terms of maintaining a high visibility of their ads, as well as performing tests on different ad positions to choose the most optimal one.

This was down to the fact that, in the past, Yandex offered only a very limited report on the ad position which looked like this:

yandex ppc update 1.1

(for the purpose of this blog I replaced the actual keywords with words ‘keyword1’ , ‘keyword2’ etc.)

This option was very similar to Adwords segment ‘Top vs.other’.

From the table above I could see that my Keyword1 appeared most of the time in the premium block (the first 3 ads on the top of the page). However, what I didn’t know was which one of these 3 positions my ads were occupying. When my ads didn’t show in the premium block they would be either displayed in the guaranteed block (4 ads below the organic search results, or in some cases on the right hand side) or in the dynamic ad block (up to 5 ads at the bottom of the first page when guaranteed block was shown on the right), however the report displayed all of these alternative positions only as ‘other’.

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I couldn’t tell whether I should bid higher because I wasn’t appearing on the top of the search results pages or perhaps bid lower because my ads were converting better in the second position.

My clients, who were mostly familiar with Google Adwords, couldn’t understand why we weren’t able to provide them with their ads average position. They also weren’t keen on accepting higher CPCs if we couldn’t prove to them precisely that this would increase their visibility and potentially conversion rates.

Now, it’s a different story!

As an official Yandex geek, as soon as I was informed about this feature I decided to put it to the test.

I first went into one of my Yandex accounts and ran the old style ad position report in the Report Wizard selecting ‘phrases’, the last 7 days of the month and the display data option ‘by month’. I also ticked the ‘Position’ option in the manner shown below:

yandex ppc update 2

Yandex Direct displayed the following data:

yandex ppc update 3.1

By looking into this report I learnt that, in most cases, my three selected keywords were showing in the premium position where they had a really good CTR in comparison to the ‘other’ positions.

However, as what I always really wanted to know is the exact position of my ads here is what I did.

In the same report, rather than selecting ‘Position’ option I chose the ‘Average position’ and what I saw afterwards surprised even more than I expected! (I appreciate that you may not share the same level of enthusiasm about few tables, but for me, this feature means that I can finally provide my clients with much more meaningful reports about their campaigns performance than ever before!).

Here is what I saw:

yandex ppc update 4.1

Yandex presented to me not only the average display position of my ads in a format which I am familiar with thanks to working with Adwords (a score between 1 and 12) but it also gave the average click position! That way, looking at the table above, I was able to identify that, although my average ad display position for all my keywords was between 2.69 for Keyword3 and 3.23, for Keyword1, my actual click position was much higher than that!

If this wouldn’t convince you to start bidding higher then I don’t know what would!

However, before I rushed to raise my bids I decided to experiment with one more option – I combined the ‘average position’ and ‘position’ fields in one report as in the picture shown below.

yandex ppc update 5.1

I wanted to know the exact position of the ad displayed with Keyword3 in the ‘other’ placement since I knew it brought a conversion and, once again, I was able to easily gain this insight by looking in the table above!

A few more facts to bear in mind:

  • The range of average position valued runs between 1 and 12
  • Statistics for the average position have been collected for the period beginning July 1, 2014. In reports for earlier periods you’ll see dashes in the graph next to average position.
  • Only impressions and clicks on ad blocks found on the first page of Yandex search results are taken into account when calculating average position. If ads were not displayed in those positions during the period indicated, then you’ll see a dash next to average position in the graph

I can’t overestimate the value of this new option for me and my clients. The fact that Yandex not only caught up with Google Adwords well-known metric but went beyond that by adding ‘click position’ will make it much easier to make informed decisions on further optimisation efforts, something which PPC professionals will appreciate the most amongst all the other platform changes!

Thank you Yandex, I am glad you have listened to us!


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Justyna Wilner

Director of Learning and Development at Webcertain
Justyna is the Director of Learning and Development at Webcertain and Certified Yandex Expert & Master Trainer. She has over 5 years' experience in managing international and multilingual advertising campaigns from a variety of industries including B2B, e-commerce and non-profit sectors. She is the official Yandex Expert and Master trainer, who over the last 3 years has trained hundreds of marketing professionals from globally recognised brands such as Adidas, booking.com, SAP and Airbnb on how to run effective international campaigns. She has spoken at digital marketing conferences across the world and is a certified Yandex, Google AdWords and Bing PPC specialist. Justyna is originally from Poland and currently lives in the UK.

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