Customize Your Campaigns: Yahoo Search Retargeting on Native

I’ve been running campaigns in Yahoo for awhile now. A couple months ago, I logged in and noticed that I seemingly no longer had the ability to opt out of search retargeting on native. I reached out to our Yahoo rep who confirmed that 100% opt out is no longer possible.

Like most of you, I’m sure, I’m not too keen on being forced to advertise somewhere, especially without knowledge of performance and returns for my clients. Once I discovered that opting out wasn’t an option, I quickly began looking for ways to reduce or control visibility and/or customize these native retargeting ads. There are currently only two ways to do so, and I wanted to share them to help you get the best performance possible, but first here are the basics about search retargeting on native.

What is Gemini Search on Native?

Search Retargeting on Native helps you go beyond the search results page. Essentially, if a user shows interest in your product or service through their query on Yahoo Search, they could be retargeted with your ads on Yahoo’s Native sites like Yahoo’s homepage, Finance, publisher partners, etc.

Along with the limited optimization options, discussed below, a big concern for me is that you can’t control the type of content your ads show alongside. Although you can’t block unwanted sites, there are two ways you can get back some control on your SRN ads.

Control Visibility Through Bid Modifiers

To add a bid modifier to your campaigns, click through a campaign and choose ‘Edit’ on the far right to adjust the campaign settings:


Underneath the ‘Campaign Name’ and ‘Type’ fields you’ll see the Search retargeting bid modifier box:


Although 100% opt out isn’t possible, Gemini does allow as much as a -90% bid modifier up to a +200% bid modifier. When you launch a new campaign the default is set to -70%.

Control Visuals Through Custom Images

Another piece of control you have is through the images associated with these ads. The sizes available are 1200×627, the large rectangle, and 627×627, the square which is also Yahoo’s suggested size. You can add custom images at varying account levels, as high as all of the ads across all campaigns down to individual ads within an ad group.

Regardless of the level you’re adding the images, you do so from the Ads tab. First, choose the ad(s) you want to upload images to.  Then, from the ‘Actions’ drop down, choose ‘Edit image’.



From there, you’ll have the option to either drag and drop images or browse and upload.


Yahoo recommends uploading images to accompany your Native ads, as they have found that ads with images tend to have better performance than text ads alone. However, this is something you’ll want to test, as I’m guessing ‘better’ performance is being determined by higher CTR which might not translate to a better ROI.

For tips on image best practices from Yahoo check out this article.

Native Reporting

To see data associated with Native Retargeting performance, head to the Reporting tab and choose the Campaign Performance report. Select your date range and the Interval level you’d like to see data for.



Then choose the Columns dropdown and “Modify columns”.

From there, you’ll choose the “Search on native” option at the bottom of theleft-hand column.


You can choose whatever metrics you’d like to view and add them to your report, then hit Apply and Export. After that, you can simply pull the metrics into a pivot table and let the data influence your campaign bid modifiers.

Closing Thoughts

Ultimately, it isn’t ideal that advertisers are forced into utilizing Search Retargeting on Native, and an opt out capability would be the best option for advertisers who are seeing poor performance from SRN. However, the reporting capability and insight is helpful, as well as the bid modifiers and customized images. Let’s hope that Yahoo soon offers the ability to block sites; that’s the least they can do if we’re going to be forced into SRN.

Have you seen good or bad results from SRN? Let us know in the comments below!