News Release

<< Back
Feb 26, 2007

comScore Data Show Yahoo!'s New Ranking Model Has Had Initial Positive Impact on Sponsored Search Click-Through Rates

comScore Data Show Yahoo!’s New Ranking Model Has Had Initial Positive Impact on Sponsored Search Click-Through Rates

RESTON, VA.  February 26, 2007 – comScore Networks, a leader in measuring the digital age, today released the results of a study analyzing the changes in Yahoo!’s click-through rates for sponsored search ads since the official U.S. launch of its new ranking model on February 5, 2007.  The introduction of the ranking model is the second phase in the rollout of Yahoo!’s new search advertising system, known as Project Panama.  The study is based on the online behavior of comScore’s U.S. sample of 1 million Internet users.

Using the week ending February 4, 2007 as a baseline for sponsored search click-through rates (i.e. total clicks on sponsored search ads divided by total searches) before the ranking model launched, comScore studied the two subsequent weeks of click-through data to evaluate the impact of the new ranking model. comScore’s data indicate that for each of the two weeks subsequent to the launch (ending February 11, 2007 and February 18, 2007), Yahoo! Sites experienced a noticeable lift in its sponsored search click-through rate.  The week ending February 11 saw a 5-percent increase, while the week ending February 18 showed a 9-percent jump.

Yahoo! Sponsored Search Ads Click-Through Rate Analysis

Weekly Sponsored Search Ads Click-Through Rates

Source: comScore qSearch


Percent Change vs. Pre-Ranking Model Week Ending 2/4/07

Week Ending 2/11/07

Week Ending 2/18/07

Yahoo! Sponsored Search Ads

Click-Through Rate



“comScore data show that the recent introduction of Yahoo!’s new search marketing ranking model is already having a positive impact on the click-through rates for Yahoo’s search advertising,” said James Lamberti, comScore senior vice president of media and search solutions. “comScore will continue to monitor the performance of the new ranking model and plans to issue an additional analysis at the end of the first quarter.”

Yahoo! Sponsored Click Composition Increasing

Another anticipated result of Yahoo!’s new ranking model is a shift in composition of total click volume from algorithmic to sponsored.  The “sponsored click composition” metric (i.e. sponsored clicks as a percentage of total clicks) is critical in understanding Yahoo!’s success in improving both monetization and user experience.  qSearch data show positive gains in this area, with sponsored clicks representing 10.6 percent and 11.1 percent of total click volume in the weeks ending February 11 and February 18, respectively.  These data represent increases of 0.5 and 1.0 points in the weeks following the new ranking model launch.  

Yahoo! Sponsored Click Composition

Weekly Sponsored Click Composition Rates

Source: comScore qSearch


Week Ending 2/4/07

(Pre-Ranking Model)

Week Ending 2/11/07

Week Ending 2/18/07

Yahoo! Sponsored

Click Composition




"While still in its early stages, any good news for Panama is good news for Yahoo! – and this early study shows plenty of good news,” added John Battelle, chairman and publisher of Federated Media and noted author.

For more information on comScore qSearch click data, please email or call

(650) 244-5412.

About comScore Networks

comScore Networks is a global leader in measuring the digital age. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given comScore permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. comScore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its proprietary technology, comScore provides insight on a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes.  comScore consultants apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI.  comScore services are used by global leaders such as AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Tribune Interactive, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestlé, MBNA, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, Merck and Expedia.  For more information, please visit

Michael Rubin
comScore Networks
(312) 775-6538