Assists Are Not Just a Basketball Statistic

MoreVisibility - March 27, 2007

MoreVisibility Analytics Blog

I would like to talk abut something called an Assist. When I think of the word “assist”, I think of one man: John Stockton. For those of you that don’t know, Stockton is the NBA’s all-time leader in assists, with 15,806 of ‘em over his 19-year career.*

In basketball, an assist is when a player’s pass helps set-up a made shot.

Just the other day, one of my co-workers came up to me and asked me something like: “Hey Joe, I was in the YSM interface, and I saw the column “assists” in one of the reports. What the heck is an assist?”

Well, similar to basketball, an assist in Yahoo! is when a keyword or ad helps set-up a conversion from another keyword or ad.

Would you like a more technically-oriented definition of it? Here it is, from Yahoo! themselves:

“The number of times a keyword or ad contributed to a conversion that was credited to another keyword or marketing activity. Assists must occur within 45 days of the conversion event to be recorded. Within any 45 day period, a conversion event can have a maximum of 30 assists recorded.”

Here’s an example. Let’s say someone types in “brown shoes”, and then clicks on your Ad. The person even goes as far as adding a pair of Brown Shoes to their shopping cart. But then, just for argument’s sake, let’s say that they accidentally close their browser! So, they open it back up, but they forget what search term they used, and possibly what website they were just shopping at. They now type in “men’s dress shoes”, find the Ad for your website, pick up where they left off, and then purchase that same pair of Brown Shoes (that was most likely still in their shopping basket).

While the keyword “men’s dress shoes” will get credited with the conversion, “brown shoes” will get the credit for the assist.

I understand that this is an unlikely example, but it’s merely that, an example. Another possibility for an assist is when someone clicks on your ad, and then comes back later to buy / convert / fill out your form, without clicking on your ad again (I know, I know…I’m basically saying the same thing again). This happens quite frequently with websites that sell tickets, or have special sales on certain days or weeks.

Yes, the NBA Playoffs are fast approaching, but they are not the only ones dishing out assists

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