Yahoo Gemini: Complete Guide to Yahoo's Mobile & Native Advertising Offering


Yahoo's Gemini marketplace for mobile and native ads launched in February and is now the default audience option in the Yahoo self-serve advertising manager. But what is Gemini and how does it work?

what is yahoo gemini

Yahoo Ad Manager launched in January as a simplified platform for advertisers to buy and manage native ad products like Stream Ads, Image Ads and sponsored Tumblr posts. Gemini was added to leverage the power of mobile and native advertising together; their native ads are optimized for tablet and mobile devices.

Yahoo Gemini powers native ads that put sponsored brand content in front of Yahoo's 400 million monthly users in contextually relevant ways.

But First…Why Native Ads?

If you're not yet familiar with the format, native advertising is the increasingly popular method of reaching audiences with contextual messaging that appears alongside – or in-stream with – editorial content. Some describe it as a subset of content marketing; others as content's "sponsored twin."

yahoo gemini native ad network

Whatever your definition, native advertising has proven incredibly effective, especially against more traditional web advertising formats. A Sharethrough study, for example, found that people were 25% more likely to look at native ads than banner ads and viewed them 53% more frequently. Participants in that study were also more likely to share native ads with their contacts and demonstrated greater purchase intent after viewing them, compared to other types of ads. In the U.S., almost three-quarters of publishers already offer native advertising on their sites.

In their presentation Yahoo Gemini Vision & Impact, Yahoo shares a number of other stats on native advertising:

  • Perceived effectiveness is fueling marketer investment in native ads, up from $1.4B in 2012 to $3.1B in 2014.
  • Only 4% of marketers say they're completely satisfied with their mobile ad campaigns.
  • 95% of digital advertising pros buy mobile ads.
  • Investment in native ads is expected to rise to $5B a year by 2017.

Despite their omnipresence and enthusiasm among advertisers, 85% of consumers have never even heard of native ads.  The FTC has been clear in their position on clearly marketing native advertisements as such, yet only 79% of advertisers understand that native content must be identified as advertisements. Clearly, it's a format with opportunity, yet there is much to be learned.

What Is Yahoo Gemini?

Yahoo's Gemini offering helps advertisers reach mobile consumers in a contextually relevant, effective way: through native ads tailored for mobile. It's a marketplace worth considering; Yahoo has more than 430 million monthly mobile users who average 104 minutes per month.

Where Google consolidated desktop and tablet paid search with the introduction of Enhanced Campaigns, Yahoo is offering advertisers the ability to manage mobile and tablet ads from a separate interface with Gemini. This is an opportunity to get more granular with your search strategy.

yahoo gemini

Image from Yahoo

Gemini advertisers have targeting options including geotargeting, broad and exact match, and negative keywords. They plan to offer sitelink, location and call extensions; phrase match; day parting; and device, language, radius and operating system targeting in the future.

Currently, Yahoo is in the process of rolling the ads out to greater audience segments. In March, just 1% of mobile search traffic would see Gemini ads, though they planned to increase in April and beyond. Yahoo plans to have all accounts migrated and set up in Gemini by April 30.

Yahoo's native ads appear on the Yahoo homepage and in the following Yahoo products: Mail, Mobile Search, News, Sports, Finance, Celebrity, Movies, TV, Music, Travel, Homes, Autos and My Yahoo. Ads automatically adapt to the device type, whether computer, mobile or tablet.

How Does Gemini Work With Bing Ads?

It doesn't. Currently, Bing Ads campaigns are incompatible with Gemini, which is proprietary to Yahoo and built on a separate codebase.

Bing offered this explanation of the impact of Yahoo Gemini on Bing Ads:

"Bing Ads provides search ads on all devices, including mobile devices, across Bing and Yahoo search results pages, as well as our network of partner sites. Only a portion of search ads on Yahoo’s mobile search pages will be provided by Yahoo Gemini instead of Bing Ads. Bing Ads remains the only platform for purchasing mobile search ads on Bing and its network of partner sites and also delivers search ads on the highest performing mobile search placements (i.e., topmost on page) for web searches on Yahoo’s mobile search pages."

In case that wasn't clear, Bing's FAQ page on Gemini also says,

"Bing Ads is the only unified platform for advertisers to manage paid search advertising across all devices including PC, tablet and mobile devices, in order to achieve scale across the entire Yahoo Bing Network."

According to Adotas, Gemini ads will appear on more partner sites over time, while Yahoo will work to create parity between Yahoo Search Ads and Bing Ads.

How Do You Create Ads & Campaigns in Yahoo Gemini?

1. Start by signing in to the Yahoo Ad Manager. If you don't yet have an account, you can easily create one, or log in using your Google or Facebook account.

2. Click 'Campaigns,' then 'Create a Campaign.'

yahoo gemini campaigns

3. Create your ad. For each ad, you'll need:

  • An ad title of up to 50 characters.
  • An ad description of up to 150 characters.
  • Your landing page URL.
  • Your company name, up to 25 characters.
  • Your display URL.
  • An image – for text ads, Yahoo recommends that you use a high-quality image with an 82x82 or 1:1 ratio. For image ads, you can either link to an image or click the camera icon to upload one. Yahoo recommends that images for image ads are 1073 pixels wide by 715 pixels high.

Yahoo Gemini Ads

You'll be able to preview your ad on the right as you create it. Once you've added the information above, click the checkbox to indicate whether or not you want to use the ad information for additional ads.

Click Save Ad to save it in the My Created Ads section of your dashboard.

4. Define your audience. Start by clicking on Advanced Settings, Suggest keywords and 'Modify' as indicated below, to see all of the options available to you.

yahoo gemini help

Now, it's going to look more like this:

Yahoo Gemini Audience

In addition to targeting people in specific locations (country, state, city or DMA), you can indicate areas where you don't want your ads to show.

Yahoo will warn you that Yahoo Gemini native ads and mobile search ads give you maximum reach, but if you want to turn one or the other off for some reason, the option is there.

5. Set your bids. By default, Yahoo allows you to set your maximum cost per click – that is, the maximum you are willing to pay for each click. However, if you look to the far right, there is an option for Advanced pricing.

Yahoo Gemini Budget

If you open advanced pricing, you'll have the option to set different maximums for Yahoo native and Yahoo mobile search ad formats.

Yahoo Gemini Advanced Settings

You can then set a daily budget, or a budget for the life of the campaign. Choose to run ads immediately, or set a start and end date.

6. Name and save or start your campaign.

Gemini Campaign

7. Set up payments. Before you can start your first ad campaign, you need to fund your account.

You'll need to add a minimum of $25.00 to your Yahoo advertiser account. On the first page of the set up payment section of the site, Yahoo has Autoload set as the default option; basically, it tops up your account by withdrawing from your credit card or bank account when your balance is below 10% of the reload amount you indicated.

If you don't want to use Autoload, make sure you turn this off.

Yahoo Gemini Electronic Payment

Follow the prompts to fund your account.

Yahoo Gemini Reporting Options

From the Reporting screen, you can access reports for your campaigns, ad groups (Mobile Search), ads, and keywords (Mobile Search).

However, there's also a 7-Day Performance Report available within the Campaigns tab. This report will show you:

  • The number of times your ads were shown to users.
  • The number of times users have clicked on your ads.
  • The install-click rate is the number of installs divided by the number of clicks you received. It indicates how often users install your app after they clicked through the ads. Try comparing it to the install-impression rate to see how effective you ads are overall.
  • The amount you have spent for the user actions that you have achieved. Please note that this should be used as guidance only as the amount you are charged may differ.
  • The average cost per click is the average amount you have paid for each click. Compare trends by selecting between the two drop-downs.

In the Reporting tab, information is stored for 90 days and includes impressions, clicks and CTRs broken down by:

  • Campaigns
  • Ad Groups - Migrated Mobile Search Only
  • Ads
  • Keywords - Mobile Search Only

Note, these reports are not real-time; there is an 8-hour lag between impressions and reporting in the interface.

Scheduling & Exporting Reports

You can set up automatic reports using the Schedule button in the Reporting tab. Choose to have daily or weekly CSV reports sent to your email.

You can export a report any time by clicking Export within the Reporting tab, selecting CSV, and either opening the .zip file or saving it to your computer.

Bid Landscape Reports

The Bid Landscape report is available in the Reporting tab by clicking Bid Landscape. This is a graph that shows you how changing your bid changes the number of clicks and impressions you would have received over a given timeframe. It's designed to help you optimize your bidding strategy by projecting the effect of variances in your bids.

Good-to-Know Tips on Yahoo Gemini

Here are a few tips/facts that will help you better navigate the Yahoo Ad Manager and work with their native ad offerings:

  • Yahoo recommends that you have fewer than 100 active ad creative at any given time, but there's no actual limit.
  • The Yahoo native ads platform is compatible with IE 9 or higher, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
  • You can have multiple accounts associated with the same Yahoo ID and toggle between accounts.
  • You can use Manage Users to create new user profiles and assign levels of administrative privileges to them.
  • You can delete items in bulk from the main table for paused campaigns, ad groups (Mobile Search), ads, and keywords (Mobile Search).

Yahoo Gemini Apps

Yahoo Gemini, designed to offer advertisers a unified marketplace for mobile search and native advertising, is available now through the self-serve Yahoo Ad Manager. New ad formats, placements and platform features will be released as the service evolves.

Are you going to give Yahoo Gemini a shot? Share your thoughts or experience with it in the comments!

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Scott Christopher
May 07, 2014

Very thorough overview of the Yahoo Ad Manager and new Gemini platform. We may use it - scale is key in native and this certainly helps that. Interesting stats, too on effectiveness and expected growth of native. No doubt it is growing, but interesting that 85% of consumers have not heard of it. It's troublesome though, that 21% of advertisers do not understand that native has to be clearly distinguished as an ad - if that is not worked out, it will be the downfall of this mode of advertising. Thanks for posting!

May 08, 2014

Yahoo is really onto something here. The smartest move Yahoo has made in the last few years was the decision to move away from banner ads. But I don't think they've got a good plan in place for filling that void yet. Until Yahoo figures out how to innovate again, they should just do a better job of copying what other, more successful companies tackling native mobile ads are doing. Look at Airpush, MoPub, etc. There are plenty of sources getting it right to learn from.

May 12, 2014

@Marcus Why would they look at Airpush when they are trying to get away from mobile banner ads. That's the whole point of native ads.  Look at what Yahoo is doing with native ads on their new magazine sites like Yahoo Food.  Not only does the sponsored ad blend in but it actaully entices users to click on the ad becasue there is some value to doing so.  The ads lead to good content (such as recipes, etc).  And the user is not taken off to the advertiser's site....they stay on Yahoo.  Good for Yahoo because it drive heavier site engagement and good for the advertiser because they get engagement for their product(s). 

Oct 21, 2014

Where exactly do you see native ads , on what page do they show up??

Joy Hawkins
Nov 07, 2014

Have you guys actually run Gemini ads? I am running one right now and the weird thing is it shows clicks that show up nowhere in Google Analytics and I don't really get why.

Nov 18, 2014

Joy, I'm seeing the same thing -- vastly inflated numbers showing up (and getting charged) in Gemini when I'm seeing almost nothing in Google Analytics. Plus, GA is showing tons of these as instant bounces, as if Gemini is sending robots to ping GA so they can charge us money.I'm also not pleased that I have to bulk upload keywords in order to change the match type. Broad seems to be way too broad, and I cannot find a list of triggering keywords to help with negative keyword selection.Not a fan of Yahoo Gemini yet, and am likely to shut it down pretty quickly if results don't change.

Jan 14, 2015

Don't like the lack of bulk uploads for keywords either. I want to change the match type across all keywords and also don't see an easy way to do it.

Question - Do I need to implement URL tagging so I see the traffic from Yahoo Gemini in Google Analytics? Will they show up automatically as ???? if I don't tag the URLs?

Seems like they still have not learning anything about usability from Google AdWords yet!

Mar 11, 2015

I just started Yahoo Gemini as a Kung Fu project for my full time job. I have mixed feeling about the platform. The biggest complaint I have is the no integration with Google Analytics. I have a hard time spending money for clicks, but then not really seeing what these visitors do. Yahoo has to get this right.

I do like the idea of Native advertising though.I also think if Yahoo gets the Safari deal next year, Yahoo Gemini will be much bigger.

Has anyone found a way to track these visits in GA? I tried adding a UTM tracking code, but nothing came out of it


Apr 29, 2015

I'm about to setup my first campaign on the Yahoo Gemini platform to try it out. Getting tired of adwords and the amount of impression data they're holding back.

After reading the comments here though it seems like the Gemini platform is far from ready to handle big campaigns. Think I'll try it out on some smaller ones and see how i go. Thanks for the info anyway.

Alex Becker
Oct 27, 2015

Has anyone figured out the GA attribution issues yet?

I'm thinking about appending utm URL parameters to my destination URLs and see if that fixes it, but I would have assumed that Yahoo automatically did this...

Oct 28, 2015

I've been trying out Yahoo Gemini native ads for about a week and there has been nothing good come from it. Gemini is showing 1,019 clicks, analytics is only showing 710 clicks with a bounce rate of 92%. In comparison my AdWords bounce rate is 16%. I'm using UTM's to track all the traffic. Yahoo has made sure to charge for the 1,019 clicks.

Needless to say, I'm done with Gemini native ads.

Dec 02, 2015

I tried it too. Search Ads don't show any impression. Native ads do, but traffic is bad. Similar to what Ryan described. Furthermore I realized that campaign daily budgets are somehow not considered. Test budget was was overspend completely (+700%).
Will get back to my AdWords and Bing campaigns now!

Dec 29, 2015

Today was the first day I tried Gemini "native adds"

1. Run over the daily budged - did not stop
2. Do not see to turn off mobile adds
3. Bouncing rate 99% (from google analytics)
4. Number of clicks is higher than reported by Google Analytics

Kind of disappointed...

May 12, 2016

I think you meant to say 'Ads'.

Jan 05, 2016

We have been using Yahoo Gemini for years (since 2014) and it has gone downhill fast. It was once fantastic, but now we are getting massive amounts of 1 clicks and being charged for it. They almost seem to be fake clicks.

I think our time has ended here. It was fantastic while it lasted, but now we feel we are being taken for a ride.

Feb 08, 2016

Gemini is definitely still lacking some features. I use Voluum for my tracking which allows me to see the exact search query so I can build up my negative keywords list when bidding broad.

There is some decent quality traffic as I've had sales. It's just few and far between so I find I need to bid much lower with Gemini then say Adwords and Bingads.

I'm staying away from the native ads and just doing search. On the Native ads end I see very poor quality traffic when it's supposed to be targeted traffic. I don't think Gemini's demographic data is even close to accurate.

Mar 24, 2016

i use to like yahoo gemini but now...very bad service,no customer care, it dint there, they even took my money because i ask them why my ads are active but they are not running? and they choose to just cut me out by taking my funds and say ad more funds, with out replying to me what to do...can you imagine? what kind of a service is so disappointed and very up set.....i will stay with google ad words.its like your using there service for free

Jul 27, 2016

We are starting to use Yahoo Gemini but need to connect to the API and retrieve data into our data warehouse. Really bad technical customer service, documentation which is out of date, etc. We finally have a solution which i'm playing with, however we have to export ALL of the ad group, account and campaigns into their own tables and then get the keyword stats from the cube. Really, all we need to do is create a keyword performance report and connect to this via the web service, however from what we see there does not appear to be anyway to do that. Really over-complicates things.

Kingsley Felix
Feb 09, 2017


I am giving it a try, i hope i dont get ban

Mar 14, 2017

How do I see the ad up once it is stated as active? Where can I see it in action?

Noah Wilder
Apr 01, 2017

This is the second time we tried to follow this tutorial -to set up an account with yahoo Gemini - but every-time we try to choose another country in the drop down menu,it has this weird bug where it doesn't let you choose the country .(or is it on purpose?) and the service is still only available in the U.S. ?
Gemini sounds very promising but this is very disappointing...

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