SEO and SEM for Russian search engines

BREAKING NEWS: Long-awaited ad groups come to Yandex.Direct

Today Yandex.Direct announced [in Russian] the release of ad group structure in their system to enable better possibilities for ad testing.

I have been missing this feature for years, and even worked out a walk-around for my Russian SEM work: first I would launch Russian AdWords campaigns to test ad copy; then, 2-3 weeks after the launch of AdWords, when enough statistics is collected about ad copy performance, I would start Yandex.Direct campaigns and use winning ad copy from Google AdWords.

This process was clumsy and cumbersome, and didn’t really work for campaigns where timing was crucial (e.g. sales, limited offers, product launches, etc.). But hey, we all know how important ad copy is when it comes to SEM (and Yandex SEM is not an exception), so that was generally my way of creating campaigns whenever it was possible to wait.

Possibilities with ad groups in Yandex.Direct

Now Yandex.Direct campaigns can be structured the same way as in Google Adwords: a set of keywords can have various ad texts, but common negative keywords, geotargeting and bids. To summarize:

Setting on ad group level

– ad group name
– keywords / audience targeting
– geotargeting
– bids
– negative keywords
– labels

Settings on ad level

– ad title and ad text
– display and destination URLs
– sitelinks
– age restrictions
images for Yandex content network
online business card (vCard)

Yandex.Direct allows 1000 ad groups per campaign with up to 50 ads in each group.

Ad rotation in Yandex.Direct ad groups

For now, there is only one ad rotation option: optimizing for clicks. This means that Yandex will rotate the ads evenly until enough statistics is collected; then ads with best CTR will be shown more often.

How to create ad groups in Yandex.Direct

First of all, you would need to activate ad groups in Yandex.Direct user settings:

Once it’s done, ad groups can be created in Direct.Commander (Yandex’s desktop editor), by uploading Excel or CSV files, or via Yandex.Direct API.

Direct.Commander gets an update

Direct.Commander was released back in 2011 and up until now was only available in Russian and with somewhat limited functionality. Today’s release brought Yandex PPC managers a lot of exciting news:

1. Interface in Russian, Ukrainian, English or Turkish

2. Interface for creating ad groups

3. New tools for working with online business cards (vCards)


I am very excited about all these new features that will make Yandex SEM work so much more efficient. Hurry up and upgrade to ad group structure already today!

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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