SEO and SEM for Russian search engines

How to get started with Yandex content network

I am sure many of you are successfully using Google Display network to drive sales. Yandex has an analog to Google’s display network called Yandex Advertizing Network (also refferd to as YAN or РСЯ in Russian). Until recently it was practically impossible to manage contextual ads in a good way. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, contextual ads could not be separated from search ads. The bid levels were not optimal and the keyword choices limited.

Recently, however, Yandex made a change in their way of handling contextual ads. From now on there is a possibility to separately manage and optimize advertizing on Yandex content network, which gives search marketers new great possibilities of reaching their target audiences in the Russian market.

The main advantage of this new feature is, of course, more flexible bidding. Running display ads in a separate campaign is a big improvement. Now you can adjust bid levels to achieve the desired coverage, which was difficult when the ads were running on search and content network at the same time.

Another great thing is that now the contextual ads can be used the same way as on Google’s display network. Google recommends creating ad groups as “themes” related to your business rather than just selecting keywords. Now you can do similar things with Yandex content ads.

Now, for example, an online shop selling tents could target keywords like “hiking” and “trekking” on Yandex content network to reach out to more potential customers. This was not an option before, when the same campaign had to target both search and content network, as these keywords are way too broad to bid on and would result in poor CTR and unnecessary spend on Yandex search.

Ad formats on Yandex content network

The ad formats are the same as for Yandex search advertizing:

Ad Title: max 33 characters

Ad Text: max 75 characters

No graphical ad formats are available. Yandex content network only supports text ads.

Special syntaxes, such as for example keyword insertion, just like with GDN, are not supported.

How to configure targeting for Yandex display network

Configuring the targeting is very simple. Go to campaign settings -> Strategy and select “Independent management for different site types”.

Configuring targeting for Yandex content network campaign

Then just create your ads, add keywords, set bids, and you are ready to go!

Anna Oshkalo

Anna is a blogger and online marketing consultant specializing in SEO and SEM for Russian search engines. To see more of Anna's posts, follow her on Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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2 Responses to “How to get started with Yandex content network”

  1. Great tool to use. I am a big proponent of Google contextual advertising. If managed correctly, you could gain substantial amount of targeted traffic to your properties. Be careful though, not to waste your budget. You have to constantly monitor and leave out the sites that are not generating you conversions (Sales)

  2. Anna says:

    Thank you for the thoughtful comment Mikhail! I use GDN a lot as well, and I htink it is a great tool. For Russia however, at least from my experience, GDN does not work that well… I think Google has troubles understanding Russian, so it is hard for them to pick relevant sites for the keywords you specify. Besides, the quality criteria for sites in YAN are much higher than in GDN. I think it might very well be that Yandex can deliver better traffic than Google when using content network. But time will tell.