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Assume you were a website that provided information on chocolate. You as the publisher choose to target a category that is inappropriate for your site (say healthcare). At some point, a decision has to be made for the good of advertiser, publisher, and YPN. And by the way, as a publisher, don't forget to look at it from the other side of the coin - the person you are placing ads for. You want the advertiser to succeeed because the program succeeds.
Whether this decision of what is appropriate is made at the time of adding your site to the program or during ad serving is unknown. But it should be done, constantly monitored, and the publisher should be notified from YPN if it is inappropriate. I encourage YPN to review each site for appropriate ad targeting when a new site is added, give appropriate category suggestions at that time, including the default ad category. Then let the publisher choose among a pre-determined list that is appropriate for our site. Don't give us everything to shoot ourselves with. It doesn't benefit anyone.
Further, YPN should penalize those who keep switching categories as it disrupts the system (more on this below).
We don't want the healthcare advertiser to walk away getting a terrible ROI. We want them to come back. Would YPN let that happen? No way. Especially if the advertiser were a large carrier with millions to spend. Therefore, in some ways, you are being targeted appropriately. If you are getting crummy performance, you can blame it *partly* on yourself. I say partly because it is YPN's problem too.
Let's face it. Ad targeting is a band aid approach to contextual advertising. I'd rather have someone target myself with *appropriate* ads then be given the choice of choosing a category without any feedback from YPN. (by the way, this is what makes Adsense great because you don't have to get involved in any of that). By getting YPN involved and in communication with you, this gives the program a "personalized" feel to it because you are working with your personal rep. This also gives YPN a more predictable element in the ad serving algorithm. If the system were smart, it could flag you when ad levels drop so you can make adjustments.
"Hit and run" targeting, when publishers constantly switch ads totally wrong for their site, puts pressure on other websites that should be getting that proper targeted ad flow. As the ad supply dwindles, volatility occurs in everyone's performance and the publisher scurries off to the next category repeating again.
As publishers, we want the advertiser to be happy with their ad campaigns. We want them coming back to do more business with YPN. Whats good for you is good for everyone. Please, stick to a few categories and don't screw with it. And YPN, please make suggestions on what is appropriate rather than leave us second guessing.
In regards to earnings of lateL
YPN definitely has to up the bar with increased percent of profits to the publisher and keep it at those levels. 70-80% earning drop offs is not the way to keep publishers. "Stabilizing" suggest price and ad distribution changes. It is my hope that this is *always* being done with the best intent for the good of the program.
I realize that with every PPC program, there are operational expenses involved (computing infrastructure, staff, etc.). YPNs major competitor has roughly 33% operational expense. If YPN wants to succeed on all areas, it will need to run a lean machine internally by automating more human related tasks, return daily payouts back to levels when we publishers first joined, and continue to actively market their product to increase ad inventory and awareness.
I'm afraid that if they don't, YPN will not be competitive and offer no edge for publishers wanting themselves to stabilize their earnings. I as a publisher do not want extreme volatility - especially when it is the wrong direction.
Ok, I wrote a book here. But truly, as far as I am concerned, there needs to be better open information sharing between YPN and the Publisher to make this program work. The lack of communication between YPN and Publishers so far has been horrible. It creates a feeling of distrust when recent events like this happens.
If Yahoo has a problem with publishers choosing which ads to target with, why do they allow it to be done at all? Furthermore, why are their no rules concerning it's use?
I can't see them limiting sites by hand. I can see them putting a higher emphasis on contextual advertising as time goes on. I suspect ad targetting is only allowed during the beta, when contextual algorhythms are still too poor to support a fully contextual system.
Yahoo knows exactly what it's doing. Publishers are only taking advantage when Yahoo changes or clarifies the rules on it. Until then, Yahoo seems to be fully behind this.
Cost of Revenues.
Cost of revenues consists primarily of traffic acquisition costs. Traffic acquisition costs consist of amounts ***** ultimately paid to Google Network members *****, as well as to partners who direct search queries to our web site. These amounts are primarily based on revenue share arrangements under which we pay these Google Network members and partners a portion of the fees we receive from our advertisers. In addition, certain AdSense agreements obligate us to make guaranteed minimum revenue share payments to Google Network members based on their achieving defined performance terms, such as number of search queries or advertisements displayed. We amortize guaranteed minimum revenue share prepayments (or accrete an amount payable to a Google Network member if the payment is due in arrears) based on the number of search queries or advertisements displayed on the Google Network memberís web site. In addition, concurrent with the commencement of a small number of AdSense and other agreements, we have purchased certain items from, or provided other consideration to, our Google Network members and partners. These amounts are amortized on a straight-line basis over the related term of the agreement.
Traffic acquisition costs as a percentage of advertising revenues.... 34%
That means, you are getting paid 34%.
Try removing all site targetting and see what happens. Or try site targetting more accurately.
And a note to any Yahoo reps reading this: If you would have said this during any of my calls, you could have saved me a lot of headache and badwill the last few days. I want to work with you and the system in a way that benefits everybody, especially the advertisers. Please give us feedback if there's something you aren't cool with. We'd all appreciate that alot more.
So instead, I choose the ones which make the most sense, which of course have since been... crapified by YPN for me.
So I deleted all categories, got a few 'on target' ads, which in effect did not get clicked and earned very few $$$.
There's no simple solution here. I'm doing better playing with ad targetting. I'll just try to find as close a niche as I can and if this still is no good, I think I'll throw in the towel.
They have to. Your only wearing your hat as a publisher. Think about the advertiser. Like I said, the healthcare advertiser doesn't want ads showing up on a chocolate website. Nobody wins. So some discretion needs to come in to override your targeted choice. One of the goals in any PPC project is the turnover of ads. You don't want ads sitting in the queue, nor do you want to disappoint the advertiser with crappy clicks.
"If Yahoo has a problem with publishers choosing which ads to target with, why do they allow it to be done at all? Furthermore, why are their no rules concerning it's use?"
Because they are in beta. They are likely still honing the contextual matching algorithm and using ad targeting as a band aid. Bootstrapping comes to mind. Got to tie the shoe laces before you can run, right?
"I can't see them limiting sites by hand. I can see them putting a higher emphasis on contextual advertising as time goes on. I suspect ad targetting is only allowed during the beta, when contextual algorhythms are still too poor to support a fully contextual system."
I imagine contextual will kick in if they get there. Why not? Ever wonder why it takes 3+ hours sometimes to have the ads kick in? Sometimes its done immediately - likely because it has been pre-approved. Whether it is done by hand or by software, its still decided by humans. Again, put yourself in the place of an advertiser. Noone wants crummy mistargeted ads. No doubt the issue of targeting MUST be fixed.
"Yahoo knows exactly what it's doing. Publishers are only taking advantage when Yahoo changes or clarifies the rules on it. Until then, Yahoo seems to be fully behind this. "
In all fairness, this reminds me of projects that are having difficulty internally. Whether that is management failing to understand the problems, engineers struggling with the solution to the problem, or feedback from the field not making it to the project manager. It could be anything and I am just speculating here.
I think its fair to say, its just not working for most of us the way we expected it to. When expectations are set so high at the start, it is normal for any person to react the way we do. I however, don't like the way it transpired.
It can only improve from here. If it doesn't, you always have a choice.
I suspect ad targetting is only allowed during the beta, when contextual algorhythms are still too poor to support a fully contextual system.
IMO, ad targeting is one of the nicest things about the YPN program.
I have pages where no amount of on-page tweaking will have either YPN or Adsense (with its superior contextual ad matching technology) getting it right. I love having the option to override badly targeted, algorithmically selected ads with ads from a category of my own choosing. In my case, I am always careful to select a category closely matching the page theme. To do otherwise (e.g., selecting health ads for a chocolate page) would be stupid and self-defeating.
So please, YPN, retain ad targeting as a permanent feature of your program. Maybe restrict its use, or reserve the right to override the publisher-selected categories if those categories are way out of line, but keep ad targeting.
I think some of your statements don't hold water.
I've tried category targeting several times and removed it and tried again.
I spoke with Y and they suggested I set the category to XYZ and I said.. 'but that isn't what my site is about'.. they said 'try it'.
To summarize: I was very surprised that they recommended that I use a category that is only remotely related to my site. Something like - my site sells stuff and people like to buy stuff therefore as long as I'm advertising things people buy then it is ok.
Current category setting is now for something else that is only related to my site in the broadest concept and yet revenues are at record highs.
And I listened to their suggestions. I am at 100% of how I was prior to Friday.
Of course, now I'm extremely cautious about putting my faith in the program. This was a nice wake up call. But I also don't agree with the original post any longer, having done my own research.