We had a visitor that falls into the group of traffic known in the ppc advertising industry as undesireable. I don't want to get into details. But, his behavior would have created a red flag for click fraud.
Seeing this wild behavior initially, I looked into it further, and it turns out he came to us through a valid Yahoo search, for a keyword set that is valid to our content. Looks to me like he was as targeted a visitor as he could be, though he falls into the red flag criteria.
I am suspecting our sudden inability to get into our account is linked to this event.
If it is, I am very surprised it was handled this way, without any email contact on the situation. Already my partner wants to pull out on YPN just because no matter what the reason is, the system is failing to help us, and that failure is multiplied by the fact it happened on a weekend, which is extending the resolution time, at a critical time of the year.
When we try to log in the password is wrong. That is odd, because we wrote the password down, and it was correct. So, we ask for a password hint, and the email for that never arrives. Their site indicated it will take 15 minutes, it has been over 12 hours, and we did try this several times. We know the email is correct, because we have the welcome email to us on file, and it matches the email we requested the hint be sent to.
I was attempting the login, because after doing the math and comparing the earnings to Adsense, we were ready to add three more sites to YPN.
To have the problem on a weekend, when we were about to add YPN to three more sites for our initial test of YPN, has really irked my partner. He wants to pull the ads and go back to Adsense quickly, because we are in the final stretch of holiday shopping in the usa and this is the time our ad revenue soars.
If YPN has made a rash decision based on this one visitor, without contacting us, that is not the kind of business relationship we are looking for. I see no other red flags in our logs, but the one visitor is a HUGE red flag.
Wondering if YPN had 24 hour support, even knowning how unlikely that was, I called the number, hoping at least the hours would be recorded on a message so I would know exactly when I could call on Monday. They were not. Instead, I get a recording that tells me they are busy to stay on hold to wait my turn or press '1" to leave a message. Then, suddenly I get a balance on my account. Then, I am disconnected.
That is where I got the idea to check the logs. The balance was much higher than I would have expected and it seems stuck. I had checked the balance only a few hours before I was unable to access my account, and even at that time, it seemed very high compared to the last two days that early in the day. Then it double in the next few hours, according to the customer service recording. That is indeed very odd. I have called several other times to see if the balance was increasing, and it hasn't.
My partner says this is enough evidence to pull the ads NOW, and get Adsense back on the two sites. If YPN isn't going to pay us, because we had one very curious visitor, they sent us, we need to reduce the inpact by ripping them off the site sooner rather than later.
I am reluctant. I really wanted to give this a try, as the diversity would further strengthen our network. But, I have to look at the facts. No matter how we slice it, things don't look good.
1. I may have goofed and the password was incorrect. If so, their system for pw recovery has failed. I have been on the web many years, and rarely has the password failed. Mostly that happens to my partner. Each time over the years, I worked to resolve his or my mistake, the pw recovery system worked fine. Slow would have been a hour or two. Over 12 hours and counting is unacceptable.
2. The YPN system was down. That is why I posted here. To see if others were unable to get into their accounts. It seems that is not the case, otherwise by now there would be many posts on the topic.
3. An automated account hold blocked us out due to this one visitor. There should have been an email to us stating this issue, even if generic and automated, so we could look into the problem and resolve it.
This is the way the situation was handled by Adsense when a similar situation happened many months ago. They didn't shut us down, we got the generic-automated email, we looked into the problem, checked our logs, we found the problem, emailed them back, and everything has been fine since. To lock you out without a word, is unacceptable.
4. Some other problem created a red flag. In combing the TOS I can't find anything at all that would make us unsuitable. Even if so, at minimum a canned email explaination should have been sent. The silence is unacceptable.
5. There is something else going on, unknown to us, I have a long list of possibilites, none of them our fault, and there is a logical explaination for why we haven't received any contact on it. It is the reason I hold out against my partner.
If it was June or July, I would have more patience. But, this is our money month, and time is big money. Waiting another 51 hours before we begin to rip of the YPN code will seem like a very long time.
If we have to rip the ads off, replace them with Adsense, my partner wonders how many days we will have reduced revenue due to the ads once again not being targeted. I hoping since the ads were here before, they will be targeted, immediately, if we have to replace them. It is the reason he wants to rip them off this morning, during the slowest time of the week, to get a jump on the process. We have only one week left of holiday shopping, online.
As you can see, I am at the crossroads of a decision here.