The New Yahoo Rich Ads in Search (RAIS) Beta

Michael Wiegand
Yahoo RAIS Video Ad

I can see the video before I click the ad!

I can see the video before I click the ad!

With Google seemingly rolling out ad extensions every month, the Bing/Yahoo Search Alliance has lagged frightfully behind in terms of ad innovation. Until now.

Rich Ads in Search (RAIS) is a hybrid answer to Google’s Ad Sitelinks Extensions and Product Listing Ads.

We’ll walk through getting RAIS setup, and the results you stand to gain from running them.

What is RAIS?

It’s a new ad format Beta in Yahoo which will show up to 4 sitelinks along with an image or video.

It looks like this in the wild:

Yahoo RAIS Ad with Sitelinks

Ooooh! Pretty.

RAIS details (for now…):

  • Only applies to branded terms
  • Only exact match type keywords

How do you setup RAIS?

I’m not going to lie, this is a bit daunting. Our friendly Yahoo reps sent over a massive spreadsheet that needed to be filled in to launch the ads.

You’ll need all your ad images to conform to the following:

  • 80 x 60 pixels
  • 4KB maximum file size
  • Accepted formats – .png, .jpg, .gif, .jpe

Here’s a smattering of the other specs for RAIS:

And this is only *one* of the ad formats...

And this is only *one* of the ad formats...

What kind of performance can you expect from RAIS?

I ran a test campaign for one of our retail clients. The campaign is running on identical keywords as our normal branded campaign, the control in this case.

In a week’s worth of performance, this is how the RAIS campaign performed against the control:


Top-of-the-funnel brilliance.

I expected click interest to spike, but here were the most interesting findings:

  • Click-through Rate (CTR) went from 4% to 32% in some cases
  • Last-click conversion rate fell 67%
  • Assisted conversion rate sky-rocketed 262%

While this was a limited test specific to the retail space, it’s interesting to see not only how dramatic the effect was on click-through, but how seeing an image lent itself to repeat visits and purchases.

Talk to your Yahoo reps and get into this Beta. At the very least, it will give new life into your Branded efforts. If you’ve experimented with RAIS, let me know how it’s worked for you in the comments.

Michael Wiegand
Analytics Architect

In 15 years as a marketer, Michael's experience has run the gamut from design, development, direct mail, multivariate testing, print, and search. He now heads Portent's Analytics practice, overseeing everything from Google Tag Management, to CRM integration for closed-loop analytics, to solving ponderous digital marketing questions. Outside of work, he enjoys recording music, playing JRPGs and supporting Seattle Sounders FC.

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