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Publisher-Specified Ad Targeting

is it all just a sham?

     
4:11 pm on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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On one of my tech sites, I have a software page with many references to "foo" this or "foo" that. (This is a user-contributed page, and I am not free to edit out all the "foo".)

I have set the YPN Ad Targeting for this page to "Computing / Computer Hardware". (This was set weeks ago, so there has been plenty of time for the YPN bot to visit and/or for this special Ad Targeting to take effect.)

So what ads do I see on this page?

"[...] Foos" [a movie actor, apparently]
"Find [...] Foos" [who?]
"Dr. [...] Foo - MD Report"
"Find Books by Foos [...]" [a well-known author, apparently]

As I understand it, Ad Targeting is supposed to override the usual context matching algorithm and coerce ads to fit a category of our own choosing. This "foo" page is a classic case demonstrating the need for Ad Targeting. Yet clearly, on this page, the Ad Targeting override is useless.

I see this on many other pages on this site--a tech site, where I have specified computing-related Ad Targeting universally. Yet I still see all sorts of off-topic ads that have nothing to do with computing or technology. (Removing Ad Targeting and letting the default context matching apply doesn't help the situation: the ads are equally off-topic and irrelevant to the topic of computing technology.)

What gives, YPN? Implemented correctly, the Ad Targeting feature should be a competitive advantage you have over Adsense. But it appears to be quite broken.

Is YPN publisher-specified Ad Targeting just a sham?

12:11 am on Oct 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't think it's intentionally a sham, but I have to agree that the ad targeting just doesn't work. I too gave the crawlers plenty of time to get the ads right, but after months I've just about given up. I have a tourism site and was being served marketing ads although that's not what I asked for - err. I've removed almost all of my YPN ads and went back to Adsense. It not only looks bad for Yahoo, but it surely doesn't give your visitors a good impression.

On a side-note I got a phone call last week asking me if I wanted to become an advertiser. I explained to the rep. just how bad the ad targeting was and he said "that's not my department - you need to call them". Well, I won't be buying any ad space because my tourism site's ads would most likely end up on a tech site. I plan on running a few YPN ads until I get my check and then I'm thinking of closing the door.

Don't feel alone.

 

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