What Is Yahoo! Gemini? (Facts For Digital Marketers 2021)

The old Yahoo logo.
Courtesy of Pixabay.


What Is Yahoo! Gemini?

Yahoo! Gemini is a native advertising platform – that is, advertising that is designed to seamlessly integrate with on-screen content. Gemini claims to record two billion ad impressions per day, over sixty billion native impressions per month, and have one billion monthly active users.

The precursor to Yahoo! Gemini was the GoTo pay-for-placement search engine that was launched in 1998. GoTo ranked websites based on how much they were willing to pay for advertisement.

In October 2001, GoTo renamed itself Overture. GoTo’s chief operating officer Jaynie Studenmund said in regard to the new name:

Overture is an introduction, and we feel that’s what we do as a company. We also felt it was a sophisticated enough name, in case our products expand.

Then, on October 7, 2003, Yahoo! acquired Overture.

In 2009, Yahoo partnered with Microsoft to combat Google’s dominance in online search. Microsoft provided the user interface through Bing Ads, while Yahoo took care of billing.

In June 2017, Verizon acquired Yahoo’s core internet business and combined Yahoo! Gemini and online service provider AOL to form Oath. Oath was renamed Verizon Media in January 2019.

These acquisitions proved to work out poorly, and in 2019 NBC reported that:

Only a year and a half after it built Oath from the assets of the communications giants Yahoo and AOL, Verizon now says they’re virtually worthless.

In a filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, Verizon Communications Inc. said it was taking a $4.6 billion charge on the goodwill balance of Oath, the division it created in June 2017 after it spent billions of dollars to buy Yahoo Inc. and AOL Inc

…Oath was supposed to be Verizon’s big push into web-driven advertising, a bid to compete with behemoths like Google LLC and Facebook Inc. in the U.S. online ad market, which the Interactive Advertising Bureau projects could top $100 billion this year.

But rather than eat into Google’s and Facebook’s market shares, Oath’s ad revenue fell by 7 percent in the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, to just $1.8 billion.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., by comparison, hoovered up $29 billion in ad revenue in the same three months, a rise of more than 10 percent over the previous quarter.

Together, Google and Facebook control about 58 percent of the U.S. digital ad market. The market research company eMarketer projects that Oath will account for just 3.3 percent of that market in 2018, down from 4.1 percent last year.

Despite all of the above, Yahoo! Gemini’s traffic is still well-regarded by many online marketers, and numerous ad agencies and performance marketers continue to utilize it for media-buying (more on this below).


Yahoo/Bing/Aol/Microsoft/Verizon Confusion

Yahoo’s advertising networks have a reputation for continual changes, rebrandings, and confusing overlaps.

One of the more recent changes involved Yahoo’s search inventory being rolled into Bing search back into 2019.

As searchenglineland.com wrote at the time:

Microsoft and Verizon announced Thursday an update to the partnership that has long existed in various iterations between Yahoo, AOL and Bing search ad networks.

Verizon-owned Yahoo and AOL are under the umbrella of Verizon Media Group, formerly known as Oath. Microsoft and Yahoo have had a long, somewhat convoluted and sometimes strained partnership that traces back to 2009.

What is changing? Microsoft’s Bing Ads will be the exclusive search adverting platform for Verizon Media properties, including Yahoo and AOL.

Today, Yahoo! Gemini seems to be the term most used to denote Yahoo!’s native ad inventory, which is the focus of this article, although technically it may be called Verizon Media instead.


Yahoo! Gemini Native Traffic Inventory

As of this writing, Yahoo! Gemini has a number of well-known publishers within its native ad inventory, including ESPN, Fox News, Huffington Post, and MSN.

MSN also utilizes Taboola and Outbrain for managing its native ad inventory, however.


How Do You Get Started With Yahoo! Gemini?

Yahoo! Gemini has a streamlined process for the creation of ad campaigns.

The homepage of Yahoo Gemini.

Once you click “Create ad now” or “Sign up” on the Gemini homepage, Gemini will offer you to choose to either import Facebook Ads from your Facebook account or create ads from scratch. For the sake of this example, let’s choose to create a new ad.

Gemini lets you either create an ad from scratch or import Facebook Ads.

You may then choose which age and gender groups to target your ad at.

Gemini targeting options at signup.

After that, you may select one or more locations where the ad should be displayed.

Gemini location targeting options.

Gemini will then ask you to fill out basic info, such as your company name, phone number, and target URL. At this step, you will also need to choose an ad image.

Gemini will request that you enter some basic info about yourself.

Next, you will be asked to enter your daily budget. Based on that, Gemini will give you an estimate of how many people you will reach and how many clicks you will get.

Gemini ad budget screen.

Finally, you’ll be shown a preview of the ad and will be offered to sign up. Enter the required details to sign up with Yahoo.

Preview of a Yahoo Gemini ad.

Once your account is set up, Yahoo will ask you to add a credit card to fund the campaign. You may skip this step and come back to it later, but the campaign won’t commence until you add a payment method.

Without billing info, Gemini won't start showing your ads.

Note that once you do configure your account, among other things, you will gain access to a wider selection of ad formats, including video ads, carousel ads, or Yahoo Mail ads.


Features Of Yahoo! Gemini At A Glance

At a glance, Yahoo! Gemini allows marketers to:


Yahoo! Gemini Tutorials And Videos

There are only a small number of videos about Yahoo! Gemini native advertising to be found online.

Here is one example from YouTube:


Next Steps With Yahoo! Gemini

Although first-time setup is simple, Yahoo! Gemini has a wide range of settings that may be tweaked by the user. As a next step, have a look at Verizon’s Media Advertiser Guide. The guide contains more in-depth info on topics like keyword targeting, reporting, tracking conversions, setting up ad campaigns, and more.




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