To Gemini or not to Gemini?


As Yahoo makes its first attempt to start separating traffic from Bing, marketers are left wondering if the Gemini platform will live up to the hype that Yahoo hopes its new UI will deliver. As a follow up to the April amendment that states Yahoo can now serve up to 49% of traffic through its own engine, Gemini will now serve Yahoo’s mobile search inventory, something left out of the original 10-year deal with Bing that hits the halfway mark this year.

As Gemini sets the stage for Yahoo’s eventual return as its own search engine, several factors are making it difficult for them to truly begin splitting out that 49% of traffic. First, the Gemini user interface provides a less than optimal user experience. In comparison to Google Adwords and BingAds, Gemini doesn’t quite compare. It’s not to say that it won’t improve in the future, but right now, the platform doesn’t yet have the adequate level of engineering sophistication. One might even propose that Yahoo is rushing to market before ready, as they’ve been slow to partner with the likes of Kenshoo, Marin and other big management platforms. And without any feature that functions like Google’s Adwords Editor, the process for an advertiser to set up and manage terms is longer and more tedious.

Another issue for Gemini, is that Yahoo lacks the in-house technical manpower that both Bing and Google have. Marketers know this, and it may leave them leery of participating in Gemini-driven auctions. These factors mean that Yahoo is stuck in an interesting catch-22. At the risk of losing revenue, they cannot push all of their traffic to Gemini until there is a real auction. By the same token, Yahoo needs advertisers to use Gemini so they can start pushing traffic to it.

Despite the current shortcomings of the Gemini platform, we do recommend that brands and marketers get in to explore the capabilities of the platform, and figure out ways they can best utilize them. While CPC prices are low, it’s a good idea to set up a Gemini account. Yes, it requires a new IO with Yahoo, but better performance from the low CPCs and lack of advertisers should balance out the extra hassle of managing another account. It also gives you more time to fine-tune your ad performance within the platform. We will be watching Gemini’s performance closely.

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