Msg#: 3216753 posted 11:37 pm on Jan 11, 2007 (gmt 0)
When someone mentions PPC marketing, what comes to mind for me is searching for, or researching a product or service through a search engine such as Google or Yahoo. Yahoo has changed my view of PPC as a marketing method by complicating their service. Their new model appears to involve adding partner sites that are kept secret from the public. These sites gather their visitors through other means than search. Partner sites can be misspellings of words such as <snip> or sleezy affiliate sites such as <snip> or sites like <snip> that run PPC campaigns in Google.
One of my many concerns regarding this, is that I have seen that these sites don't convert well. In fact, I have witnessed on my campaigns that they convert on average less that 1/10th as well as the average PPC visitor. Another concern is that you don't know what term they came in from and therefore it makes your analytics much less useful. If you have for example a term like "Florida Travel" and you know it costs you $2.95 per click and you make $50.0 per sale then you have something to work with and shoot for. But, if you don't know what term you are actually being charged for and the user never even entered the search process, it can ruin your ability to know what is working and what isn't. It just might be that the term you chose and researched is fine but there is a rogue Yahoo partner site driving unqualifed traffic that is throwing off your analytics. What is even worse to me at least on a moral level is that we are skilled at using analytic tools and reading log files. This change in Yahoo takes advantage of those who don't have any idea what is happening. Finally, you can't turn these sites off and Yahoo won't acknowledge these sites as being partners. I have seen them drop sites after compaints. Personally I believe this is opportunism and not good for Yahoo longterm. I think it's bad for the web in general and SEM companies should make their concerns known publicly.
[edited by: werty at 5:11 am (utc) on Jan. 14, 2007] [edit reason] Removed URLs - please see TOS #13 [/edit]
Msg#: 3216753 posted 1:14 am on Jan 12, 2007 (gmt 0)
I sent YSM a long, detailed letter about this problem. Their reply....actually I am still waiting for it after 9 months. It would all be solved with a site exclusion feature as has been mentioned ad nauseam in this forum. I cut my spend with them 50% for this reason.
Msg#: 3216753 posted 3:23 pm on Jan 12, 2007 (gmt 0)
Well we have heard that this is going to be something that they may offer in the future. In the mean time the are making 10s of millions in profits from inflated and next to worthless clicks. I have a reply from them and infact we have received several. They are all boilerplate. No one has actually addressed our issues honestly. I wonder if Google knows that Yahoo partners are bidding in their system and turning around and selling the same traffic at many times the rate back to Yahoo PPC clients. Maybe Google doesn't care about this as it is obviously bad for Yahoo and their clients. I am including their letter that they send to everyone. Notice they don't actually address the issue.
[edited by: werty at 5:12 am (utc) on Jan. 14, 2007] [edit reason] Removed Email Quote - Please see TOS #9 [/edit]
Msg#: 3216753 posted 8:36 pm on Jan 12, 2007 (gmt 0)
I asked one of the head YSM guys at SES this year during the forum for such. He said its something they've often been asked for by clients and with Panama finally deploying, they can now begin to address client concerns regarding new features and such.
Lets just hope he's less of a liar then the rest of Yahoo.
Msg#: 3216753 posted 9:31 pm on Jan 12, 2007 (gmt 0)
Yahoo is a bad investment getting worse. The ability for advertisers to measure advertising investments is essential for Yahoo to survive. Yahoo, as a major search engine, owes everyone a commitment to maintaining a reasonable level of business ethics. At this point in time, we advertisers can not count on a fair and measurable process from Yahoo. They are creating ineffeciencies and making the web a less attractive place by using low quality partner sites. In the end I have asked all my clients to move their money to more measurable and reliable methods. I would love to see Yahoo address these issues honestly and professionally. It seems their recent moves are analogous to the throws of a panicked dumb animal in the desperation of its impending death. They have run out of ideas about how to compete and cheating is all they can come up with.
The truth is that advertisers need to act in unison or we may find ourselves in serious financial trouble. Yahoo is no longer a safe place to stake your business.
PPC allows those who profit most to prevail. If Yahoo makes it difficult for companies with ethical practices to survive the search engines could become a bad neighborhood.
Msg#: 3216753 posted 10:53 pm on Jan 12, 2007 (gmt 0)
You know I sound pretty upset and I am, LOL. But everything I said in the last post rings true to me. Perhaps the productive thing to do would be to start listing their suspected partner sites. So at least it would be obvious to Yahoo advertisers what Yahoo is really up to. Does anyone have an idea about how I might accomplish this?
Msg#: 3216753 posted 1:44 pm on Jan 15, 2007 (gmt 0)
I can see some key information is being edited out of my entries. I totally understand why Webmasterworld would feel they need to do this. However I am going to post these to the web I will optimize the page <snip>. I plan to post all of the sites that appear to by Yahoo partners. I appreciate Webmasterworld at least allowing these issues to be discussed to some degree. Without venues like this one the web would be a darker place.
[edited by: werty at 9:20 pm (utc) on Jan. 15, 2007] [edit reason] Removed specifics [/edit]