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Offline keywords turned back on by Yahoo!



8:17 pm on May 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

1) Take some terms offline that you're losing big money on (which is likely much of your Overture account these days)
2) Later, your account runs out of money
3) Add money to your account as usual to bring it back
4) Oops--your money losing terms are somehow back online!

Upshot: unless you delete these terms from your account, Yahoo is going to turn them back on, likely without your knowledge.

With Google, you simply pause your terms, and of course they don't turn themselves back on without your knowledge.

The Overture rep said they've seen this before, that maybe it is a bug ;)


6:34 am on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

A bug that makes them money, at least in the short term. Never heard of this though, but I'll keep an eye out for it. Thanks.


8:00 am on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

A bug? LOL!

You do have to watch your Overture accounts carefully. I have found a couple of 'offline' keywords sneak back online before.


2:48 pm on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Watch out for 'Advanced Match' as well... these sneaky little critters turn themselves back on, too.


3:36 pm on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

We once had a Google rep break up our adwords account for us when keyword/campaign numbers were getting too large. They nicely removed all our geographic targeting.

They admitted the error and refunded the extra $,$$$ it cost us, but it goes to show that all of these companies are real world - they have employees who make mistakes, they have programmers who write buggy code, and they are just trying to make a buck.

now, where did I put that reynolds wrap.


4:46 pm on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I think it's some kind of rollback that Y does periodically (or whenever things get really screwed up) or something. Several months ago we changed all of the target URLs on all of our accounts to point to a new domain. They used to all point to DomainA, we changed them all to point to DomainB.

Two weeks ago we noticed that two of the campaigns (out of five) had reverted to the old URL. That's around 75,000 terms. Will we do the work to get them back to the old domain? Probably not. When it takes a week to do the work and it's tossed out with no explanation it is difficult to trust the system.

Go figger.


5:54 pm on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

We had that happen 2 months - posted about it here I think.
Thought we were imagining things


9:21 pm on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've had this happen 2-3 times in the past 5 years. So have my colleagues... yet we never were totally sure. I started printing out my changes and filing them about 8 months ago, but have not yet had it happen again.

Overture's incompetence is absolutely mind blowing to me.


2:00 pm on May 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes I agree this is not right at all, they should have a default refund for this or they ARE being irresponsible.

End of Story!



5:26 am on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I agree with Eric_Winter even I am not confident about overture they dont rule anymore.


4:45 pm on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Watch out for 'Advanced Match' as well... these sneaky little critters turn themselves back on, too.

Oh, yeah. Funny how that happens, isn't it?


6:47 am on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

woooow. This has happened 3 times to me and I always just blamed myself for not double checking.

I'll be seeking a nice refund.


1:07 am on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Seriously, watch out for content match being turned on. It's happened a couple of times in my account.


8:27 pm on May 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The whole PPC market is crawling with fraud. Don't believe for a second that there is a "bug". Those companies have it in their best interest to let people defraud you and to let "mistakes" go unfound. And if the PPC companies aren't defrauding you the people posting your ads on stupid link websites that no one really goes to is.

Try this little test on a few of your words. Have your landing page be a page that with big bold characters say "If you are a real person click this button". And see how many people go to that page from your PPC and how many actually click the button.


4:10 pm on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Here is another thing to watch out for. A few days ago I decided to delete a few campaigns. These campaigns were offline for over a year and will never be turned on again. So why keep them around?

Anyway, each campaign has thousands of keywords, so rather than deleting each keyword one by one, I deleted the campaign instead.

Today I look at my account and notice that my costs have been higher than normal the past few days. I looked at my categories and found that all the extra charges were coming from the unassigned category, which was supposed to be empty.

So what Overture did when I deleted the categories was take the keywords and put them all in the unassigned category and turn them all back on again. How ridiculous is that?

Of course when I phoned today to get a refund I found that everyone is on holiday over there, so it will have to wait for tomorrow. In the meantime I have had to turn my unassigned category offline.

The Overture system is absolutely ridiculous. If I delete a category it means I want the whole thing deleted. If I wanted the keywords active I would put the category online again. Is that so hard for the people over there to figure out? Seems like common sense to me. Seems like common sense to the people at Google too. What's going on at Overture/Yahoo?


5:50 pm on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Wow there must be so many advertisers out there believing that they were careless. Today I logged onto my account and noticed my advance match type on. I thought I had stuck to Standard Match. Now if I hadnt come across this topic, I would have believed that I was careless or confusing my current account with a previous account. This is sooooo very wrong on yahoos part.


4:55 pm on Jun 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

This just happened to me. I left my account off for about 3 months. I recently decided to give Overture another shot. I funded the account, checked my bids and let it go. At the end of the day I noticed my funds had been depleted and my account was in the negative. I called and talked with an account rep who told me that I was getting an exhorbitant amount of clicks on the content match. I told them that I hadn't run that campaign for over a year. How did it get turned on? At the end of the conversation I told my rep that if they credited my account with I would consider doing business with them again.
Two days later, I get an email from Overture notifying me that my account had run up $10,000 in a day. Apparently they issued a credit and turned my account back on without my knowledge. They issued me a credit for $9,000, and I told them that wasnt good enough. What makes this even worse is that I only had 4 conversions for that $10,000. That seems almost statistically impossible to me.


4:17 am on Jun 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hey Kingarthur65. Do let us know what support tells you and whether they refund your money.