YSM Brings Creative Standards in Line with Google’s

In what it says is an effort to be easier on consumers’ eyes, Yahoo Search Marketing (YSM) is shortening its text ads from 190 characters in the body to just 70.

The new 70 character limit brings Yahoo’s standards more in line with Google’s. Google lets advertisers display body text in two lines of 35 characters each, while Yahoo will now allow a 70 character block.

“Our research has shown that by improving the search experience in this way, advertisers can generally expect to see an increase in clicks, while maintaining their conversion rates,” the company wrote in a letter to advertisers. The display of organic search results won’t be changed.

Advertisers have until January 18 to re-write their ads to comply with the new standards. Those that aren’t shortened will be automatically truncated by Yahoo’s software. Though a YSM spokesperson said the auto-truncation system doesn’t prematurely end sentences or otherwise result in incomplete ads, one advertiser posting on the Search Engine Watch forums was skeptical.

“As far as automatically shorten listings… well, I hope that our competitors take that approach,” wrote the advertiser, whose username is PPC. “We have spent the last two years, writing and testing our ads and it looks like we will have to start that process over again.”

Many of YSM’s distribution partners will continue to display the lengthier text, according to the company.

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