Last time, we discussed Google AdWords conversion tracking and how it functions. This time, we will take a look at conversion tracking for Yahoo! Search Marketing. For a more detailed explanation of conversion tracking, please refer to our earlier blog posts.

PPC AdvertisingYahoo uses conversion tracking cookies in a similar fashion to Google. When a potential customer clicks your Yahoo! Search Marketing ad, a cookie is stored on the user’s computer. If that customer does indeed make a purchase on your site, then the keyword that was used in their search is credited with a conversion. However, there is a fundamental difference in how Yahoo tracks that conversion as compared to Google. Yahoo will attribute that conversion to have occurred on the actual day that the sale occurred, even if the initial click occurred days, or even weeks, in the past. This is markedly different from Google because Google will track the conversion back to the day of the initial click.

You may actually see a conversion tracked in Yahoo on a keyword for a particular day, even though that keyword shows no clicks even being received that day. That is because the initial click actually occurred in the days prior to the actual sale being made.

Keep this important factor in mind when making Yahoo bid management decisions, especially on newer keywords, and especially if you know you have a longer sales cycle for your products. You could be reducing bids on keywords that look like they are not producing sales, when in fact they might in the near future.