This is definately not an issue of targetted vs. RON ads.
I have sites that have had YPN on them for almost 4 months now. They've never been taken off. They're on pages that even with few advertisers Adsense could EASILY target. But still RON ads.
It's not that there aren't enough advertisers, either I don't think. YPN just doesn't know how to understand what a page is about. When the main keyword is in the document title, H1 tags, and all throughout the page - there should be targetted ads.
I am happy with the amount of money that I'm making with YPN. It's about the same, or a little bit more than I would make with Adsense. But I really think I should be making more.
And I'm not just motivated by my own selfish interest in saying this.
YPN - what do you think the effect is going to be of running totally and obviously irrelevant ads for half a year on our end web users?
Only one thing. Ad blindness.
This is going to hurt YPN's revenue in the long run, and publishers credibility in both the short and long term.
If I were sitting in your board room, in a strategy meeting, I would walk right up to the whiteboard, load up my power point presentation - or whatever, and tell you this.
You need to use the same strategy you initially used with publishers (i.e. more money) to get better engineeers and developers on board.
Do you realize that Clicksor serves better and more relevant ads than YPN? That should be horrifying to anyone at Yahoo. It's true.
I really appreciate Sarah being here, and I feel kind of bad that you're personally getting beat up on in this thread, or things are aimed at you.
OvertureRep/YahooSarah is probably as frustrated by this as we are. Has anyone ever done tech support in the past? Have you had to spin a complete line of BS to frustrated users when you know it's just a radius server that's down? I can definately sympathize.
My suggestion is that Sarah, and anyone else from Y!/YPN who might read this forum go into their next meeting and just lay it on the line to the folks in charge.
They need to up the ante. And fast. Yahoo needs to hire more and better talent. Go to industry headhunters. They'll have inside numbers for people at Adsense and other PPC programs. Make them an offer they can't refuse.
The fact that there are a million international publishers waiting to join should NOT be any comfort to you.
If you create a situation where the ads are always irrelevant and creates banner blindness, it won't matter. You'll ruin your PPC efforts before they get started, and hurt the rest of the industry too.
I for one appreciate the good will of having someone here to talk to us, and I don't want to take out any of my frustrations on OR/YS or anyone else who is a liason between publishers and Yahoo, and I hope other people won't either.
But it's time to be really frank. YPN has not made any significant improvements during this beta period. Revenue may be up from allowing more publishers in, but the actual nuts and bolts is exactly the same as it was late last year.
Terrible ads. No additional payment options. Forcing publishers to do on page optimization that may affect their serps or create problems with Yahoo and other search engines just to get relevant ads to display. Requiring relatively sophisticated geo-targetting that your run of the mill webmaster isn't really capable of, or interested in.
I want YPN to succeed. I want a viable option to Adsense. I want a choice in how I monetize my sites that doesn't include massive revenue cuts like the rest of the third rate ppc programs out there.
These are all things that YPN should want, too.
Far and away the best thing that you can do is bring in some new talent to get this relevancy issue fixed. Then get rid of, or fix that geo-targetting nonsense. And if you can do that, some nice perks like direct deposit would be great.
But if you can't handle the fundamental issue of contextually relevant ads in a contextual advertising program, I'm afraid G! will smash you into pieces, in the PPC realm, and in search as well.
My YPN publisher ID is the same as here. eslsociety. I would be happy to forward this to anyone that would listen.