Here at JumpFly, we’ve been receiving numerous emails from Yahoo Search Marketing¬†about keywords that are pending inactivation, which means it’s time for another round of bid raises in Yahoo.

Yahoo Minimum Bids Increasing

Yahoo has been periodically raising minimum pay-per-click (PPC) bids on various keywords, and to me, there is no rhyme or reason. Some minimums are only being raised a small amount, like ten cents. But some of the increases are ridiculous including increases of thirty, fifty, even seventy-five cents. Yahoo! Increases Minimum BidsSupposedly the minimums are determined by competition – the more competitors, the higher your minimum bid must be (which sounds like a nice way for Yahoo to make more money). It’s also supposed to be determined by how relevant searchers find your ads. The better your CTR versus your competitors, the lower your minimum bid should be.

This doesn’t happen very often, where we have two clients with the same search terms, but I have one situation where this has happened. I have two clients with the same term, and in the last round of changes back in September, both of them were required to increase their minimum bids. Both had a CTR of well over 3%. When I emailed my Yahoo rep to find out about why, I was told that it was probably because of too much competition. Now when I checked, there was a total of four advertisers on the term. And the minimum bid wasn’t a minor increase, but a really major increase. For one of my clients it went from $.29 to $1.12. The other one was required to go from $.29 to $.86. And now, there’s one lonely (and probably happy) advertiser on this term.

Here’s another instance that really burns me up. I have a client who is advertising on their own URL, which is something we recommend doing. Yahoo wants them to increase their minimum bid from .93 to 1.56. On their own URL.

Another annoyance – we get Minimum Bid Increase notices on keywords in old campaigns that haven’t run for a long time and are paused. It would be nice if Yahoo would take into consideration that paused campaigns don’t need to have notices sent. The only thing to do to stop the notices is to delete the keywords or campaigns, because Yahoo doesn’t care if the search terms themselves are paused.

I don’t know if Yahoo has noticed an actual decrease in revenue, but a lot of the bid increases that Yahoo is making are souring my clients on Yahoo even more than they have been in the past. Most of them are spending LESS on Yahoo than before, because some of the bid minimums are so ludicrious that it doesn’t make advertising on them worth it. They should take a look at what Google is doing – they’re doing AWAY with inactive bids, and Google keeps gaining share, not losing it.

Something else to keep in mind: just because you’ve gone through a round of bid minimum changes in the past doesn’t mean you won’t get them this time. Make sure to keep an eye out for the email, and continue to check your Yahoo account for them, because there’s no rhyme or reason on when and what keywords might get flagged. And once they’re flagged, you need to determine the ROI on the increase so you can decide if you’re willing to pay the price or respectfully decline by deleting the keyword.

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