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Yahoo Search Marketing Pay Per Click Advertising Forum

    
Blank Referrers going up
What is going on
dr1zz

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3550156 posted 12:33 am on Jan 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

History
About a year ago we stopped displaying ads with yahoo due to a large number of Search Partners that was sending us crap traffic and making us pay for it. When this new blocked domain tool was added we were excited that we could once again look into display ads with Yahoo.

Recently
So we started displaying ads for a few search terms in order to block search partners. I have been looking at our logs daily (every day we displayed ads) to block search partners of yahoo. These sites in the past have never sent us profitable traffic. We did this for about 1-2 months until mysteriously instead of getting the sites that displayed our ads we started just getting more blank referrers.

I define blank referrers as entries from our logs that contain the parameters we have put in the destination URL (the parameters that tell us what campaign/keyword the traffic is coming from and that its from yahoo PPC), but donít tell us the website that the traffic came from (basically the website that displayed the ad).

Now
I have been going through our logs and determining what was causing these blank referrers. On average about 30-40% comes from yahoo, 30-40% comes from blank referrers, and 20-40% comes from Search Partners. This was huge jump from the previous 0-10% blank referrers, 30-40% yahoo, and 50-60% Search Partners.

Questions
I guess my questions are three fold.

Do other people have the same problem with blank referrers when displaying with Yahoo?

Is there any way to fix this as we are confident our servers are querying the data correctly?

What are people's overall numbers for blank referrers over all their traffic and/or conversions?

 

alpine

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3550156 posted 10:42 pm on Apr 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

We have the same experience.

We spend significant sums on Google, and used to spend a significant sum on Yahoo, but dropped them more than a year ago due to negative ROI.

When they announced the ability to block selected search partners, we decided to come back to test again. We ramped up, blocking search partners as we went, only to end up with a majority of traffic with blank referrers.

It's obvious that Yahoo has search partners that block their referrer, so that you can't block them from running your ads, since you can't identify the offending site.

Repeated conversations with tech support in an attempt to identify the sites sending blank referrers so that we could block them was to no avail.

I'm shocked that they allow this; it seems like another click fraud lawsuit waiting to happen. To allow partners to actively block their referrer--that's incredible.

They need to finally allow people to turn off search partners--it will be better in the long run--otherwise they'll keep having customers like us and dr1zz and many others just drop them altogether.

RhinoFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3550156 posted 3:07 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

To allow partners to actively block their referrer--that's incredible.

They need to finally allow people to turn off search partners--it will be better in the long run--otherwise they'll keep having customers like us and dr1zz and many others just drop them altogether.

I couldn't agree more.

As they get whooped in the battle for search engine turf (market share), why isn't there someone at Yahoo who is willing to try to deliver value to their advertisers instead of aiming for volume. You attract and retain and maximize advertiser spend with value, not by allowing clandestine syndication (blank referral headers) and monetization (click fraud).

mattb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3550156 posted 8:08 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

If a large percentage of Yahoo's revenue is derived from PPC, then perhaps they are using the fraudulent 3rd party partners to keep the company afloat while Microsoft makes their bid.

We've just implemented a log file reader and started banning the worst 3rd party sites. How long does it take for others to take their place? We are planning to have someone check weekly.

alpine

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3550156 posted 8:15 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

How long does it take for others to take their place?

5 minutes. And you'll run out of slots to block them, with Yahoo's cap of 250 sites to block.

mattb

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3550156 posted 8:31 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Nice. We'll be happy if we can just keep the largest offending sites beaten down.

ppc_newbie

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3550156 posted 8:56 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately the biggest offending sites appear to be domain parks(one has over +90k domains hosted), and my ads are showing on category pages which don't involve any active search. On some of them I can't even find my ads when I can trackback referring URLs.

I'm closing in on the max. 250 domains, and I have to be able to identify them before I can block them. Plus I am gettin charged for the clicks just so I can identify them.

Now if we could block selected search partners in addition to domains it would be a much more workable situation.

shorebreak

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3550156 posted 10:32 pm on Apr 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is awful, and yet you just *know* that Yahoo's gonna let this continue until their Microsoft saga plays itself out. The person within Yahoo who's aware of this would have to have real brass ones to raise this issue and demand attention to it on behalf of advertisers.

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