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Yahoo Search Marketing Pay Per Click Advertising Forum

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Big Changes to Yahoo Sponsored Search TOS
Yahoo can now make changes to your account without prior approval
seth_wilde

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 7:37 pm on Jun 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yahoo search marketing recently made a major change to their TOS that allows them to access and make changes to your accounts without your prior approval. The full text is below.

OPTIMIZATION. In the U.S. only, for those advertisers not bound by an Insertion Order, we may help you optimize your account(s). Accordingly, you expressly agree that we may also: (i) create ads, (ii) add and/or remove keywords, and/or (iii) optimize your account(s). We will notify you via email of such changes made to your account(s), and can also include a spreadsheet of such changes upon your written request. If you would like any of such changes reversed, please reply to such email within 14 days of the change(s), and we will make commercially reasonable efforts to reverse the change(s) you specifically identify. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you remain responsible for all changes made to your account(s), including all click charges incurred prior to any reversions being made. It is your responsibility to monitor your account(s) and to ensure that your account settings are consistent with your business objectives.

I'm not sure how wide spread this optimization is yet (my account manager said her department is not participating in the practice at this time). But to opt out you need to email them.

Link To Yahoo! TOS [info.yahoo.com]

[edited by: werty at 10:39 pm (utc) on June 4, 2008]
[edit reason] Added Link to TOS [/edit]

 

httpwebwitch

WebmasterWorld Administrator httpwebwitch us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 8:12 pm on Jun 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

WOW. Is this legal?

how about this paraphrased parody:
Unless you send us an email to opt out, We will come into to your kitchen, eat your food, make a bunch of long-distance phone calls, and rearrange your spice cupboard. If you don't like that situation, send us an email we'll make a commercially reasonable effort to put your spices back the way they were, but won't reimburse you for the food we ate.

I wonder whose brill idea this was.

werty

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 10:55 pm on Jun 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Wow, at least with Google, they do it through things such as expanded broad match. Yahoo! what are you thinking?

Thanks for the heads up on this Seth

mack

WebmasterWorld Administrator mack us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 7:27 am on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Notwithstanding the foregoing, you remain responsible for all changes made to your account(s)

How did the legal team ever pass that one? We change it but you're responsible for our changes, this is just a plain stupid idea that must have sounded good in the board room.

Mack.

Visit Thailand

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 8:37 am on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is the sort of joke you would semi-expect on April 1st.

It is worth keeping the email as it must be one of the most ludicrous proposals ever inked.

Tropical Island

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tropical_island us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 10:09 am on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is so indicative of the desperation faced by Yahoo execs who will do ANYTHING to increase profits with no thought to their customers - us!

How can anyone with a sane mind think that we would allow some clerk who knows nothing about our business to tinker with our (or create new)ads and then have us pay for the mistakes.

This will not end well.

JBrown

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 5:54 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hilarious. It basically boils down to: "We know best how to spend your money for you."

Isn't that usually a government line?

awardmasters

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 5:55 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

The opt out essentially means nothing. I called our rep and "opted out" and was told that that would probably prevent them from optomizing but there was no guarantee - the terms of the TOS continued to govern our participation.

She said that this was designed to "help" those advertisers who were having trouble getting their account to work well. She said that an example would be someone who wanted to spend $100 per day but was only spending $20.

I guess that means that Yahoo would just write some ads stick in some keywords and spend that other $80 bucks for them.

This would really be funny if it were not so scary. I told her that I felt it necessary to open accounts at G in order to provide backup in case Yahoo decided to step in and "help" me with my account. It is difficult to believe that they can be so naive.

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 6:38 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just when you think they can't do anything dumber, they do.

I emailed the 'opt out' on behalf of my clients, and received a response back they'd noted the accounts and passed my email along upstream, which I take to be acknowledgment of my wishes. If they optimize any of our accounts, we will not pay for it. If they take us to court, we will go. I'm about two nose hairs away from pulling all my clients out of Yahoo permanently as it is. Pulled 'em out of MSN earlier this year, and we haven't suffered, and I'm not particularly worried about dropping Yahoo either.

zett

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 6:48 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't know what to think. Is it...

Stupid? - Certainly.
Desparate? - Absolutely.
Hilarious? - No, not really.
Incredibly dumb? - Well, sure.

What kind of dope are they taking over at YHOO? First, letting MSFT go, then coming up with this crap. Dumb, dumber, Yahoo!

ByronM

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 6:55 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

April 1st was a while back Yahoo!

ByronM

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 7:00 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Actually i'm astonished they have the manpower to do this. It takes them up to a week for editorial review. How can they manage keyword/performance/metrics reviews on top of already miserable performance?

Gomvents

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 7:04 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Is this real? I was joking that Google would do this exact same thing but I was only joking and was 100% sure no company would ever do such a thing. LoL when I had Google "optimize" one of my PPC accounts once all it did was spend 5X as much and get 0% conversions vs the 8% I was getting. like another poster mentioned.. Google or Yahoo don't know YOUR business and therefore it's hard to think they'll make ads as effective as someone who's IN MARKETING and OWNS THE BUSINESS THEY ARE MARKETING.

bwnbwn

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 7:05 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Are emails being sent out on this so we can opt out? if Not how is the emailed to be worded will I have to put every account number I have in the email or will I get an email for each account?

I haven't gotten a thing from yahoo on this. This is nuts really plain and simple nuts.

maximillianos

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 7:09 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

She said that an example would be someone who wanted to spend $100 per day but was only spending $20.

Folks better double-check those campaign limits! I know I use to have a few campaigns that had high daily limits, but since the clicks never got near that amount, I just left it. Sounds like Yahoo might be sending me those clicks unexpectedly now... and in turn taking the money too. ;-)

TinkyWinky

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 7:11 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

also include a spreadsheet of such changes upon your written request

This is the way IMHO underhand companies work - oh hang on is the new Y!... the one that's going to reward those shareholders <fake shock>

Nice one muppets - this will screw you once and for all with the only people that can save you right now - your advertisers!

poster_boy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 7:17 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Does anyone have a link to this TOS? I really have to see it to believe it.

Receptional

WebmasterWorld Administrator receptional us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 7:20 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've been looking at this all day. We've been amazed in the office - even the guys that don't actually talk about these things. Then I just read it again...

...we may help you optimize your account(s). Accordingly, you expressly agree...

I don't think that has to mean Yahoo are saying they intend to change your campaign without your permission - although obviously some clarification from Yahoo would be in their interests right now. We may prefer to interpret that as saying "If they offer to optimize your campaign AND THEN YOU EXPRESSLY SAY YES, then they will change the campaign."

Just my two pence. Who's going to join me in the campaign for plain legal speak?

Dixon.

poster_boy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 7:30 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Does anyone have a link to this TOS? I really have to see it to believe it.

Just found it... Here it is:

YSM Terms And Conditions & Program Terms [info.yahoo.com]

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 7:34 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

There are no emails for opting in or out; you should have gotten an email earlier this week or last that says if you continue to use the program after June 13th, that constitutes acceptance of the new Terms and Conditions, which includes this optimization nonsense.

I can't believe they don't see the potential liability here. But maybe not.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 7:37 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

How many people actually read those terms and conditions word for word? Other than Seth? ;)

Philosopher

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 7:54 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Are they just trying to destroy their business? Aside for making them a little bit of money short-term, I just can't see the upside in this.

Sure most people don't actually read the TOS, but as soon as Yahoo starts actively doing this, they are going to have massive backlash from advertisers.

Can anyone here actually think of a single advertiser that would go "Hey, Yahoo optimized my account for me and added a bunch of new ads and keywords. Wow...that was awfully nice of them".

Somehow I see it as going a little different than that.

[edited by: Philosopher at 7:56 pm (utc) on June 4, 2008]

seth_wilde

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 8:01 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

lol.. I didn't actually read the TOS when they sent out the update emails either ;) I had a coworker ask me about it so I decided to email our account manager and see what was going on.

Before I received the response from the account manager I had the same thought as Receptional (this can't be right, it must just be bad wording). Once I received a reply telling me it was true and they would make a note on my account if I didn't want to participate I realized it was no joke..

WiseWebDude

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 8:38 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

What kind of dope are they taking over at YHOO? First, letting MSFT go, then coming up with this crap. Dumb, dumber, Yahoo!

ROTF, that's what I was thinking right there. I think Yahoo's water supply must have something bad in it, LOL. I sit back and wonder if they realize how they look anymore. I guess the bigger they are, the harder they fall still is holding true in Yahoo's case.

handsome rob

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 9:11 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Par for the course, given YSM's strategy for the past year or so. It's looting, nothing more.

Tourz

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 9:31 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I ignored the notice too but after seeing this post I checked my account. Lo and behold, there's only 10 keywords remaining in the account. Way to go Yahoo.

skipfactor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 9:38 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Makes you wonder how stealthy the disclaimer is/will be for new sign ups. I won't be finding out.

inbound

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 10:27 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

We only spend around 500 a month with Yahoo (and get a positive, but declining, ROI).

The changes take effect in the UK on 1st July - I doubt I'll be able to find the time to read the new T&C's in full before then so you can mark me down as another $1000 a month that Yahoo will lose (and even when I do read the new terms I may not switch ads back on).

I'd like to see a short, plain english version of the changes so tens of thousands of advertisers don't have to waste time reading the very long terms that, for the most part, will be full of legalese about nothing significant.

The way I see it, Yahoo had decided - like too many big companies - that relying on people not reading the terms is better than transparency. I've had enough, it's not as if they are in a position like Google - where anything that Google does like this still gets read as they provide much more exposure. I don't like to see any company do term changes like this, but Yahoo must be delusional if they think they are big enough for many people to care enough to read the terms - I hope people drop them and force a change in policy.

Rant over...

bears5122

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 10:31 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Following Yahoo's tumble over the past couple years, it's not a surprise. They've almost destroyed their advertising system by allowing everyone and their brother into their "search network" (and not allowing advertisers to opt out). Their click fraud detection is a joke and they've started to make it harder to file fraud reports.

Yang and company must be feeling the heat from turning down that $40/share offer. If the company doesn't show some big improvements, shareholders will be coming out with the pitchforks.

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3666039 posted 11:10 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just when you think they can't do anything dumber, they do.

Actually i'm astonished they have the manpower to do this. It takes them up to a week for editorial review. How can they manage keyword/performance/metrics reviews on top of already miserable performance?

Those had me rolling.

Would this be poor timing to say MS needs to lower their offer. It doesn't sound like they're gonna inherit a room full of genuises.

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