How to Pay for the Highest Position Less Than for the Lowest one on Yandex Direct? How Do You Know Competitors’ Bids and CTR?

Information on your competitors’ bids and CTR on Yandex Direct contextual advertising is confidential. This article, however, will help you evaluate and compare the bids and CTR of your competitors. Besides, reading this article will make you understand how to pay for the highest position less than for the lowest one.

What is a bid?

A bid is the maximum price per click that a contextual advertiser is ready to pay.

What is CTR?

CTR (click through rate) is the ratio of the number of clicks on an ad to the number of times the ad is shown (impressions). This measure is an indirect indicator of ad quality; the better an ad is developed and the better it fits the keyword, the more often it is clicked and the higher its CTR is. If your ad has been shown 100 times and has been clicked 5 times, its CTR is 5%.

How is the position of an ad in contextual advertising determined?

The higher the product of the bid by the ad quality indicator, the higher page impression ranking. An indirect indicator of ad quality is CTR (click through rate). Thus, the higher the CTR, the higher position your ad will have and the less you’ll have to pay per click at the desired position. If you have a very high CTR while your closest competition’s CTR is low, you’ll be able to pay per click at Yandex Direct first place premium placement above search results a few times less than your competitors at the lower positions.

How do you evaluate competitors’ bids and CTR?

Ad Serving Rules in Yandex Direct Help Section say:

“3.9. Selection of Ads for impression on the Advertising spaces specified in 2.9 of these Rules and their distribution among pages shall be made in a descending order based on the product of CTR and Cost per Click. In this case, the position of an ad on a page shall be determined by the fixed Cost per Click, that is, selected ads displayed on each page shall be arranged in a descending order by the Cost per Click”.

So, ads are sorted by decreasing bids at the page for viewing all Yandex Direct contextual ads, and we can see which of our competitors set the highest bid. By comparing the bid to the position of an ad on search result page, we will get an idea of which contextual ad (of which competitor) has the highest CTR. Let’s consider an example.

We configured contextual advertising with various keywords for a plastic surgery clinic and achieved good results. The picture below shows ads displayed by Yandex for “rhinoplasty price” keyword when we were configuring contextual advertising for our clinic:

Образец контекстной рекламы в Яндекс Директ

Each ad has a serial number typed in red. As mentioned above, the position of an ad is determined by the product of the bid by the quality indicator (CTR), i.e.,

Position = Bid х CTR.

To compare competitors’ bids, we click on the All Ads link circled in red that brings us to the All Ads page:

Все контекстные объявления Яндекс Директ по конкретному запросу

At this page, ads are sorted by decreasing bids (serial numbers in gray), while red serial numbers on the left show positions of the ads in search results. As you can see, the highest bid ad is not ranking first in top positions but is shown in the adblock on the right. This is explained by a low CTR of the ad.


  1. has the highest bid, but they rank only fourth in search results (serial number 4 in red). This means that the CTR of this ad is lower than that of the three top position ads. And this, in turn, means that the company pays too much for each click.
  2. The bid of ranking the best, first in top positions costs less than the bids of and ranking first and second on the right of the search results (red numbers 4 and 5 in the picture).
  3. Note that the bid of ranking third in top positions costs less than those of the other nine companies, of which seven are ranking below the ad of this company! See what a high CTR can do!

Your ad can be in the highest position while you will be paying less than you would pay for the lowest position with a low CTR! This is a real example from Yandex. You can find many similar examples by using the Yandex search engine.

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