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Are these sites really part of the Sponsored search network?

My ads are showing on garbage sites



6:24 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I've turned off content match and yet almost 50% of my clicks are from non-Yahoo sites such as:


I find it hard to believe that Yahoo finds these sites appropriate for "Sponsored Search", and I don't want my ads on them. Is there any way to advertise only on Yahoo?

Equally strange, I can't find my ads on Yahoo at all. I'm logging every click and the referring page, but when I view the Yahoo search results pages for the terms I'm supposedly getting clicks from my ads aren't there. I've tested dozens of terms at various times of the day. My Yahoo dashboard says my average position is 3-5 for all of these terms, so I don't understand why I can't find them. Am I going crazy?

This account is only a few days old, but if they are reporting that my average position is 3 for term X surely I should be able to see my ad near that position when I search for it, right? I set my daily budget at $5k just to make sure my ads are shown as much as possible ...

[edited by: werty at 9:02 am (utc) on Jan. 30, 2007]
[edit reason] Removed URLs - please see TOS #13 [/edit]


6:33 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Only 50% on non-Yahoo sites? You are very lucky.

They have loads of bad affiliates. I get plenty of clicks from some of the sites you mention. You can complain to Yahoo, and if you can show multiple visits from the same computer, that will help your case. YSM gives a large percentage of our spending back as refunds, although they never actually tell us which clicks we are getting refunds for.

Still, you have to live with bad affiliates if you advertise with YSM. We had a similar thread to this a few months ago; it disappeared. I suspect Yahoo applied pressure to have it deleted.


6:36 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

To me these types of sites would be in their "content match" network, which we've turned off. If these sites are considered to be of high enough quality to be a part of their "sponsored search" network I can only imagine what's in their "content match" network.

So they don't have some way for an advertiser to only advertise on Yahoo search? That's insane.


12:19 pm on Jan 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

I have been having problems over the last week or so with one account. One affiliate has been sending double the level of traffic of Yahoo itself! Obviously there is something wrong with this and all advertisers are now bidding less.

Come on Yahoo, play fair or people will be dropping you like a stone.


6:45 pm on Jan 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Welcome to Yahoo Search Marketing! :-)

Yahoo! will give search feeds to various partners who in turn will sell those feeds to almost anyone they want. It has caused their network to become ridden with click fraud. I've only seen it get worse and it seems like our weekly click fraud report that we turn over to them gets larger and larger each week.

I'm not sure if this has anything to do with their poor financial numbers of late, but it is clear they are looking for the quick buck over the quality of traffic for their advertisers.


7:17 pm on Jan 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

This is a real problem on several PPC networks. Yahoo certainly has issues in this area.

The big problem comes from layer upon layer of 'partner' networks.


Yahoo signs deals with company A

Company A isn't quite as choosy and signs a distribution deal with company B

Company B has even worse quality control than company A and signs deal with company C


This can continue for many layers. What you end up with is Yahoo inheriting 'search partners' that they would never accept directly (think of how secrets spread, you may tell a good friend something in confidence, then they may tel someone they trust... at some point someone you don't want to know the secret will find out).

In theory they should be able to deal with it by getting company A to sort it out, but Company A needs to chastise Company B etc. If 100% fraud is happening at level 5 then it's maybe only contributing 1% to the click fraud rate at level 1, and no-one at level 4 gets reports on their fraud rate, nevermind good enough reports to boot offenders.

We are part of the YSM search network, having had our site reviewed by Yahoo staff. We don't do massive volumes in comparison to some others, but we still implement our own click fraud detection measures so we can anticipate revenue and flag issues. It's quite simple to spot issues if you control the traffic, but it can become a nightmare if you build a 'partner network' (which we don't - yet).

It's a tricky issue to deal with if you only have a few major partners, unless you want to risk losing them. I think Yahoo are still reeling from losing MSN clicks, hence don't want to rock the boat. It's a very short-term stance, and one that they may regret.


12:06 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

I have now sent a message to support about one account. One of their partners is sending 5 times the traffic that Yahoo itself is sending. Also NO conversions for the last week or so - the conversion rate had been doing nicely until then.

If things don't get resolved ASAP I will have to pull the plug on Yahoo...and I know many others feel the same way...


12:24 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

yep, we are in the same boat with yahoo. the performance of the campaigns has been going down for months and months now, and continues to get gradually worse.
They will have to do something about these dodgy partners as it is ruining their credability and advertisers will move their budgets somewhere where they can see a return.

come on yahoo, sort it out.


3:37 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

Well I got a standard but quick reply. I have answered all of their questions about the suspicious clicks and sent them some log files. Let's see what happens next...


4:12 am on Jan 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

thanks for the heads up.

I've been seeing more junk from YSM too and now I know I'm not the only one seeing this.

This is just plain foolishness.

Threads disappearing?

Pls be specific. Mods, does this really happen?

another thread refers to the dilution of a network with content like junk sites as "distribution fraud"

quantity over quality just isn't going to cut it.

yahoo has to know it is skating on thin ice.

I can understand it has to put all that inventory somewhere, but hey, if they are junk sites, this just has to stop.


1:17 pm on Jan 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I aksed YSM about these sites where we saw our ads, I made the assumption that they were part of the contect network. The response I got back kind of surprised me - they basically sad that these are not content network, rather domain match.

I guess that is their loophole. I'm going to ask them to opt out of this domain matching crap, but I'm not going to hold my breath for it.


2:31 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

Well the situation just seems to be getting worse. Another Yahoo partner is sending over a load more junk traffic.

One of the keywords used to attract many bidders and bid values of 1.50 to 1. Now there are four bidders and bid values of less than 0.15! I think that says something...

No reply from Yahoo either yet...

handsome rob

7:20 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


I've already asked to be opted out of Domain Match and was told that I do not have that option. As a result, my company now PAYS to have our name on typosquatter domains and other domain squatter sites who send us an amount of traffic that would lead anyone to wonder what blackhat tactics they're using to drive so much traffic to their domains in the first place. If you manage to get a different response from them, please post it here because I've been asking to opt out for MONTHS now.


2:26 pm on Feb 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

domain match is the least of your worries... see the post above by "inbound", those layered partners are much, much worse than any domain folks.

handsome rob

2:31 pm on Feb 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Could we get Yahoo Sarah or someone from YSM to weigh in on this?


2:10 pm on Feb 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

Well I now have a refund for 'unusual clicks' in one account, so if you do see an unusually large amount of clicks from a site or sites then let Yahoo know!


3:08 am on Feb 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've had to pull the plug on Yahoo! as well in many areas. When you are only getting 5% of the traffic from Yahoo! itself and many spammy domain landers are sending 3 times the traffic of Yahoo!, something is wrong.

They do credit you back the money (as "good faith"), but it is a hassle to do it every single week. It's unfortunate that they don't care about their advertisers at all.


9:41 pm on Mar 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

About 8 months ago I made the same type post re junk traffic from Yahoo ads. I did a test with a limited budget and select keywords all directed to one page, and that page got traffic from nowhere else. 90% of the traffic was not from Yahoo, but affiliates, and a good bit of that was from one porn site. The daily budget was exhausted quickly, with hardly a click from Yahoo itself. I complained, showed them the logs, and got the standard answer...ie: "our system verifies the bonifides of affiliates and weeds out click fraud, etc., -- it is trustworthy."

Sorry, it's just not so.


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