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Remember that more than click-through rate influences the quality of an ad: The quality of an ad is determined relative to other ads displayed at the same time by both its expected performance going forward and its historical performance. Historical performance data was not purged on February 5, but as time passes, the data generated after the launch of the new ranking model will have the strongest influence on ad quality calculations.
The time it takes to take both expected and historical performance into account to measure ad quality depends on the volume of searches related to a keyword. Keywords with lots of daily searches often generate enough data in a relatively short period of time until historical performance is a stronger factor for ad quality within that marketplace.
And no, the data used to determine ad quality is not “purged” at the beginning of a new month.
Fair point – or so it seems. But if that were the case, then anytime new ads were added to our system, they’d get lost in the shuffle. And that outcome wouldn’t work for any of us ;-)
The important thing to remember is that these days, ad quality is a crucial factor in how an ad is ranked. Not just bid amount. And it’s true: ad quality is based on expected performance and historical performance.
But in the absence of historical performance – i.e., with NEW ads, we use expected performance. And expected performance is all about relevance factors, which we use to assess the likelihood that your new ad will be clicked. To maximize the likelihood that your new ad will be clicked, make your ads as relevant to your keywords as possible.
This page (http://help.yahoo.com/help/l/us/yahoo/ysm/sps/start/overview_qualityindex.html) shows an example of a less relevant and more relevant ad, and it also offers some suggestions for making your ads as relevant as possible.
As impressions and clicks accumulate, your historical performance (click-through rate normalized for position) becomes a stronger factor in determining your ad quality.
If you have a more specific question about your ads, please contact me directly to address offline.