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Yahoo Cloaking Ads - Is it True?

I see different ads compared to Google cache



5:51 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

From previous Post:


"Sometimes makes me wonder if the ads that I see on my pages are different than what other ppl see hmmmm... "

I often wondered about that too Sarah. I talked about that several times that YPN seems to "cloak" their ads to me and offers different ads to visitors.

Go to Google, Yahoo, and other search engines and look at your pages in their cache. Are the cache snapshots showing totally different targeted ad types? Then, surf back to those pages. Same ads or different?

Doesnt feel right and noone believes me.


OMG WHIZZLER you are SOOO right. I just checked on Googles cache and the YAHOO ads are completely off target.

When I see, I'm seeing all computer related ads, and on the cache snapshot of Google, all the ADS I see are

"play games", "Yahoo music", "yahoo hosting", "learn what men have to say" and "super mario".

When I go back to my page, I dont see any of these ads and see all relevant computer security Ads.....Whats happening!

Any advice guys.

And on Yahoo's cache, all the Ad units are showing just one ad

"Find the best..
Take the quiz to find americas best cities to retire"

This is weird...I had no idea about it. No wonder - i'm not getting any clicks with yahoo ads.

Is any one else experiencing the same thing.


6:12 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I placed YPN ads on my site too and the CTR was way lower than adsense. When I got to clicking around on my most popular pages none of the YPN ads were targeted at all.

After 2 days I switched back to adsense. If the Yahoo ads were targeted the program would be way better than adsense.


10:42 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm looking at cached pages and seeing the exact same ads I see normally. If you're seeing totally irrelevant ads on a cached version of your page, reload it a few times or better yet - go away and come back a few hours later and then view it. There's no cloaking going on here people. I can't give you the technical details because I don't know them but I'd bet a dollar it's a simple matter of how dynamic content (YPN ads for instance) is dealt with on a cached page.

I see contextual ads (YPN and Adsense both) when I'm working on my pages locally. Lots of people say they don't but I do. My computer is always connected to the internet and when I bring up a page on my hard drive I definitely see the ads. They are completely off target and totally irrelevant to the pages content but there they are. Why are they off target? Probably because the bot hasn't spidered that page on my hard drive. It hasn't been able to spider that page so it doesn't know what sort of ads to serve. I'm guessing there's something very similar going on with cached pages. The only difference here is that the cached pages (the search engine's cached pages) can be spidered. Reload it enough times and you'll see.


1:38 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hey wyweb

Thanks for your feedback. I did refresh the cache pages on google and everytime different ads are showing up but still none of them are targetted.

I guess you are right - maybe its something to do on how cache pages work. But still doesnt explain why I get so less clicks with YPN compared to AS

Maybe I'll just go down to a local library and see what ads I get to see from there



3:05 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't know what's going on here. I wanna make that crystal clear. My assessment of this thing is a guess and a guess only and like all guesses should be regarded as such. I could very, very easily be wrong. I do know this though.. I know that the scenario being presented here, that Yahoo has code in place to serve only targetted ads to the actual webmaster and completely non-targetted ads to the rest of the viewing audience, is probably illegal. It would constitute a fraud of sorts (I'm not really up on legal definitions but I would think at the very least this would be fraud) and Yahoo would be opening themselves up to massive litigation. All for what? I mean what's the purpose behind this mysterious cloaking scheme? How does Yahoo benefit by serving up non-targetted ads? Why go to such lengths to dupe the webmasters into believing targetted ads are being served when in fact they're not? The idea is ridiculous. I mean I'm sorry but it's just ridiculous.

I think some people need to get out more.. shut that computer down and get out of the house.. get some fresh air.. converse with actual human beings... and here I am on the ellipses trail again....



6:44 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

wyweb, your first post was no doubt correct. The ads are different/untargeted because (a) Yahoo has no idea yet what the content of the page is about until after they spider it, and (b) the domain itself may be a factor in determining what ads to show.


3:08 am on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well Guys Thanks for all your opinions - especially wyweb for suggesting I shud shut down my computer and get out of the house.....hehe

I did exactly that - infact I did go to two local libraries and checked my website and I saw targetted ads....So atleast that theory is thrown out the window.....

But it still doesnt explain to me why I'm getting so few clicks compared to AS.....I'm showing the yahoo ads exactly in the same positions I show my As....

Here is a summary.

In the month of January, I had AS on my site.
For every 1000 visitors, I got an average of 100 clicks

For the first 2 weeks of Feb, I put yahoo ads
For every 1000 visitors, I got 15-16 clicks

Yesterday, I switched back to AS and guess what BOOM back to 100 clicks.......

Guess Yahoo hasnt been lucky for me. I gave it two weeks time....Does anyone think i shud give it more time.....



3:13 am on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


Your getting a 10% CTR with Adsense? That's pretty incredible.

I make very very very good money with YPN with a .1-.2% CTR; Given that I do have high traffic and my sites are mainly forum based...

However, when I used Adsense the EPC were terrible (although I did get roughly 1.0 CTR instead of .1), but its not uncommon to find my EPC around $2-5... and with them that high, a super high through CTR isn't a total need for me...


8:03 am on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Does anyone think i shud give it more time.....

I think you go with the money. If adsense earns you more then you go with adsense. I know that sounds pretty mercenary but oh well.


1:17 pm on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Previous Post From JoeHouse


Stop and think for a minute. These ads (Yahoo) are dynamically generated. So when you click on Yahoo cache (about your site) you will get computer stuff because that is what Yahoo is all about and you are still within their site (not yours)because the code is reading Yahoo content and not yours!

Because they are dynamically generated even though you are looking at your site you are still on Yahoo (website) so you will get targeted ads for Yahoo and not your site.

Hope that makes sense?

If you go to Google cache about your site it too will display computer/email/search engine related topics because its within the google server/website even though you are looking at your cache/website, but you are still on Google's website, so again the ads will show targeted ads to google's content and not yours.

There is nothing wrong with Yahoo targeted ads. Occasionally I do admit they are a bit off, but for the most part they are on target."


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