To Gemini or not to Gemini, that is the question. Or at least it is for digital marketers debating whether or not to invest their marketing dollars in the platform. Let us break it down for you.
Gemini Pros and Cons
While Yahoo! Gemini does represent a small opportunity for advertisers looking to expand their reach on search, the potential benefit is heavily outweighed by the costs. The volume of potential incremental search traffic on Gemini is very limited and arguably insignificant, Yahoo.com traffic converts at a lower rate than Bing.com traffic, and there are several technical challenges and limitations that must be overcome or disregarded in order to advertise on Gemini.
Incremental search volume through Gemini is limited. According to Bing, about 86% of click traffic across all devices and all industries on the Yahoo-Bing Network is being served thru Bing ads. Only about 14% of Yahoo-Bing clicks are served thru Gemini (this chart is updated weekly).
Considering this in the context of Google, Gemini traffic is even more diminutive. Below are the results from the comScore September 2015 US Desktop Search Engine Rankings:
- Google = 64% of search share
- Microsoft = 21% of search share
- Yahoo = 13% of search share
Remember, those are searches though, not ad impressions. Yahoo can only serve 49% of its desktop searches with Gemini ads, the remaining 51% have to be served with Bing ads. By my calculation, Yahoo Gemini will at most be able to serve about 6% of total desktop search ads across Google, Microsoft and Bing.
Not only is the volume low, but a recent article on Search Engine Land found that conversion rates on Yahoo.com are lower than those on Bing.com. It is worth noting that Gemini ads shown on Yahoo.com converted higher than Bing ads shown on Yahoo.com to users on Tablets and Mobile devices, but not Desktops.
In addition to a very limited amount of incremental traffic and lower conversion rates, there are also significant technical challenges and limitations to advertising on Gemini. Since API functionality is restricted to basic features, setup and management in bid management platforms is highly inefficient, and since platform support for Gemini conversion data isn’t available, optimization in the platforms isn’t advisable. Furthermore, due to the low volume, data-based performance optimization is even more challenging.
In summary, although advertising on Gemini does offer additional reach, the reach is short and low converting, and comes at the expense of a high investment in time to setup and manage the campaigns; I recommend directing that time towards optimizing existing campaigns on Google and Bing.
This article on Search Engine Land suggests that many advertisers are following the same tune.