Display Ads Drive Searches in Yahoo! Case Study

Yahoo has released a case study with financial services advertiser Harrisdirect showing the influence display ads can have on viewers’ search behavior — at least in one three-week campaign on the portal.

The study found that consumers who saw Harrisdirect’s display ads — which appeared in Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Finance and My Yahoo — later did 61 percent more searches on related terms than did a control group who’d visited the same part of the Yahoo network but didn’t see the ads.

Those exposed to the display advertising also clicked on 249 percent more related paid search ads on results pages. Additionally, those exposed clicked on 139 percent more links to the Harrisdirect site, including both organic and paid listings, according to Yahoo

“We wanted to see what type of action, what type of behavior change happens when someone is exposed to a display advertisement campaign,” said Richard Kosinski, category development officer for business and finance at Yahoo “When we saw the results from this particular study we were delighted.”

Kosinski acknowledges, however, that the results from this single study may not translate to other brands or categories.

“This is the first in what we expect to be a series of studies for that exact reason,” he said.

Prior to the study’s start, no Harrisdirect advertising ran on Yahoo for a two week period. Then, during the three-week run of the campaign, the researchers recorded whether someone was exposed to an ad and looked at their search behavior.

Representatives from Harrisdirect weren’t available for comment by press time.

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