YPN Continues to Disappoint

Yahoo!, when you announced YPN, I, and a million other Adsensers, jumped for joy. With another “real” contextual ad solution, the rewards of publishing on obscure topics (potentially) go way up, while the risk goes way down (two baskets for your eggs).

You started slow, fine, no sweat. We were promised improvements, and we waited patiently.

But somehow, EIGHT months later, YPN is still a huge dissapointment for me. It just amazes me how terrible their offering is.

  • Internartional? What’s that thar? Section 11.1
    Abuse of Services. You agree not to:
    display all or part of the Ad Unit to any user located outside the US;
  • The short tail From a WMW thread:

    I am seeing vonage ads all the time while my site has nothing to do with vonage.

    So far, the targetting is terrible: lots of generic “Mortgage Loan” and vonage ads. I would say that, if I’m lucky, one out of 4 ads in a skyscraper is at all remotely targeted to the page. Usually, none are.

    i got rid of the vonage adds, but I agree about the florist and ftd ads, they are still there after a couple days and I’ve blocked every url (including ftd.com/folder, ftd.comfolder, ftd.com/folder/ etc. w/ and w/out the www)

Of course, some pub’s are making more with YPN, but that’s not because YPN is a more efficient market (HA yah right)… it’s because YPN is too stupid to use any type of Smart pricing, which is only going to sour advertisers completely on YPN (even more than they are with the Google contextual network).

[Not that I have a problem with pub’s using this inefficiency to its full potential — hey milk it while it lasts!]

Maybe it all started with Overture

I think one of the problems is that Yahoo’s CPC offering (based on the old Overture) is still clunky and annoying. With YPN built on top, it can’t help but inherit the problems of its parent.

Yahoo!, perhaps you could hire a usability consultant (or three) to take a look at your CPC program and interface?

And when you’re done with that, please hire a business consultant to take a look at YPN (someone who knows what the “Long tail” is, and why having it is the critical success factor in contextual ad platforms).

And then switch the “International button” to ON.

Sigh. Google “gets it” 90% of the time. Yahoo, please, please get your head out of your arse. Otherwise you may find your contextual product to be #3 behind MSN’s. And that’s just plain humiliating.

8 thoughts on “YPN Continues to Disappoint

  1. I use the YPN on my blog. Besides not being relevant to my content, they usually aren’t even relevant to each other.

  2. http://www.sugarrae.com/permalink/interview-with-yahoo-publisher-network/

    Rae: One of the bigger issues surrounding the YPN beta program is the targeting of the ads (and as a result, low click thru rates) based on feedback at forums and my own experiences as a beta tester. Can you tell me a little bit about the targeting process and what you’re doing to improve the experience? Can publishers do anything on their sites to help improve targeting?

    JS: I’m glad you bring this up because we’ve found that the majority of our publishers have been very happy with the ads served on their site.

    is this a joke?

  3. That’s why I pulled the YPN ads. I know many publishers scurried and put IP delivery systems in place, but heck, I’m not a programmer, I’m a publisher. I have better ways of spending my time to make money.

    I’m flummoxed that Y! isn’t doing this on its backend and pissed that it’s making individual publishers do it to stay within its terms of service. How many wasted people-hours is that across the publisher world?

    The money wasn’t bad for a two-week test I ran, but until Y! gets a real program in place, I just have to say “No thanks.”

  4. For months on Adsense, all I got were ads for composting solutions. This, on a blog dedicated to technology, society, and politics. In my case, Adsense was LITTERLY full of $#!7! The technology as a whole has a long way to go and it will take GOOG at $200 to get their heads out of the clouds and back to work.

  5. On a positive note Yahoo YPN started off *after* Google Adsense.

    YPN isn’t setting the standard, Adsense is.

  6. Yahoo! usually do things right in my opinion. I am usually a massive Microsoft fan but in certain cases, especially blog related stuff, I think Y! are the people with the smarts. I trust they will get a clue and work it out.

  7. I was once abig fan of Yahoo in many ways and auser of their services long before Google even saw the lght of day. How they could design and implement aprogram as bad as the exisiting YPN just amazes me.

    In particular the geographic restrictions make me tink they have a newspaper publisher exec running the program rather than someone who even knows what the internet is.

    I have a couple very small bogs, on technical subjects. Even with only a few hundred vistors a month, more than half ar from outside the US … indeed a fascination of blogging is that visitors from every contient except Antartica (so far) ‘tune in’ to read my scribblings. The internet is international, Yahoo, hello. *sigh*

  8. I’ve blogged about this before, YPN is not going to deliver for publishers and compete well with Adsense until they do two things:

    1. Improve Yahoo Search Advertising (Overture) so that advertisers actually want to use it and can do so quickly and easily. Without this, they’ll continue to have less ads to choose from which is why they continually show Vonage and mortgage ads.

    2. Do the things Google won’t do that anger publishers. Show the revenue share, be more transparent, etc.

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