Yahoo! Expands Behavioral Targeting

Yahoo recently expanded a program that targets display ads based on visitors’ recent search activity. The change widens the time window during which advertisers can drop behaviorally targeted banners after a search term is entered from one hour to two days.

“In the last year, some research we’ve done has shown us that the purchase window is longer than we previously thought,” Yahoo spokesperson Nissa Anklesaria told ClickZ News.

The program, called Yahoo Impulse, has allowed advertisers to deliver banners based on search behavior for several years, but only immediately following entry of a term. Three months ago, the company expanded the timeframe during which an ad can be delivered to 48 hours. The change could greatly increase available inventory in high consideration verticals such as automotive and finance.

“Whereas three or four years ago, [people’s use of] the Internet was more task-oriented, now users stay online longer and do more things,” extending purchase cycles to days rather than minutes, according to Anklesaria. “[Impulse] can be used at various points in the funnel. It can be used to drive instant purchase or brand awareness during the time a consumer is engaged with a particular [type] of product.”

Usama Fayyad, SVP and chief data officer at Yahoo, first spoke of the expanded offering this week at the National Center for Database Marketing conference in Chicago.

Impulse is only one element of Yahoo’s behavioral targeting toolset, which the company developed internally.

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