Using Yahoo tracking parameters, OVKEY and OVRAW

Yahoo Sponsored Search provides tracking URLs if you click on Administration, then Tracking URLs. When enabled, they append various parameters to your ad URLs so that downstream tracking will show information about ad clicks. The two most useful parameters are OVKEY and OVRAW which together provide substantial insight into how well your campaign focuses on particular keywords and which of those keywords produce the best results.

OVKEY provides the keyword in your Yahoo Sponsored Search campaign that triggered the ad impression. They keyword is “canonicalized.” Yahoo does not provide their definition for this, but it appears to include reducing keywords to their singular form without punctuation.

OVRAW provides the actual query that the user typed.

We use Google Analtyics to compare various OVKEY and OVRAW values, and many other analytics tools will provide similar functionality. Looking at tables comparing these values can uncover new keyword opportunities as well as negative keyword additions that can save a lot of money. For instance, you might find “OVKEY=used ford trucks” and “OVRAW=dodge rams for sale”, indicating that your ad targeting Ford truck searchers is being shown to people searching for Dodge Rams. You might then decide to add “dodge” as a negative keyword or come up with ads specifically targeting those searches.

More detail about Yahoo’s tracking parameters can be found at

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