Demystifying Yahoo Match Types

Sonya Wood - February 26, 2009

Yahoo match types differ from Google and MSN, which have exact, phrase and broad.

Exact match allows your ads to appear when a user searches for the specific phrase without any other terms in the query.  With phrase match, your ads will appear when a user searches on that phrase. Searches can contain other terms before or after the query as long as the query includes the exact phrase of your keyword. Broad match allows your ads to appear when a user’s search query contains the keyword, in any order, and possibly along with other terms. Ads could also show for singular/plural forms, synonyms, and other relevant variations.

These are the match types that we are all most familiar with. However, Yahoo’s match types, advanced and standard do not fall in line with the other major engines. Advanced (the default) selects and displays ads for a broad range of searches based on your keywords, ad titles, ad descriptions, and/or web content. Standard shows ads based on exact matches to your keywords. It also takes into account singular or plural variations and common misspellings of your keywords.

Why does match type even matter, you may ask yourself? Match types allow you the control to filter out irrelevant traffic, thus driving more specific queries to you. Each match type will have its advantages and disadvantages. For example, if you used advanced match in Yahoo, you will have an opportunity to generate high levels of traffic. One disadvantage is that your ads will be served on what Yahoo deems as related content. Even though you aren’t bidding on the specific word, your ad could still be displayed. For example, if your website had content related to shoe accessories, your ad might show when someone searches for “shoe repair”. Standard is the other option in Yahoo. It is more similar to exact, except your ads will display for misspellings and plurals of the keyword. One benefit to using this match type is you have more control of when your ads will be shown. Standard will limit the amount of irrelevant clicks. However, using standard will also limit your traffic.

When creating accounts in Yahoo, the default match type is advanced. If you are thinking about using standard, change the match type at the account level, campaign level and ad group level. Determining your advertising goals prior to setting match types will help you capture the amount and type of traffic you are seeking.

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