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Unqualified traffic in Yahoo even with Content Network turned off



9:52 pm on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am wondering if anyone else has seen this before with Yahoo. We have the Content Network turned off, but our ads are still showing up on alot of low quality sites. Alot of these "sites" are just domain parking pages that are part of Yahoo's "publisher" network. We noticed this when only 30% of our Yahoo paid search traffic was actually coming from Yahoo in our web analytics tool. On top of that we noticed that out of lets say 100 visitors from this particular campaign, our analytics only reported that 25 of them had an actualy keyword associated with them. At first I thought something was wrong with our analytics tool, but after further research that was not the case. 75% of the visitors from this Yahoo paid search campaign did not actually use a keyword, they just clicked on a PPC ad that happened to be on a website within Yahoo's publisher network.

Obviously, this was very disturbing to me because I have always assumed that with Yahoo's content network match turned off that our ads would only show up on Yahoo.com and their "Major" partners. After talking to Yahoo about this, they confirmed what we saw was happening and their response was that soon we could use their new domain exclusion tool that they will be rolling out at the end of the month. Another solution that they did not give an ETA on was the ability to just have your ads show up on Yahoo.com.

I am curious if anyone else new about this or has seen similar issues with their campaigns?


10:58 pm on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Same issue. I cannot seem to shut off the content network no matter what I do.

Edit: just got off the phone with Yahoo and they feel these are "search partners". Today 250 clicks from "search partner", just one unique domain that I have never heard of and has zero content, just a parked page. 17 clicks from Yahoo. Yep, that is one quality partner.


9:06 am on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The thing is with parked domains is that they don't have content most of the time, just ads. The model is built around monetising redundant inventory, the traffic normally comes from direct type ins.

It has been this way for years and years and doesn't just affect Yahoo, it is a moentisation model that many ppcs utilise and the traffic from domains can actually be very good if not abused. I guess as advertisers start to question more where their ads appear and tracking gets better this is just a natural query people now make but parking is pretty normal practise.

In fact these domains probably do belong to major partners as there will be a big company at the top of the tree that owns all these domains and thus be driving a great deal of traffic, its just that this is not always apparent from your stats.

Whats important to realise though is that a page of ads on its own is not necesarily a sign of low quality, sure it can be but thats why you need tracking. Parking programs are normal monetising activity and part of a very mature model, these pages are not a sign of bad behaviour.

That said you need the stats to identify the good domains from the bad but this is a model that has been around for a long time, 7-8 years in fact. In the past far too many advertisers never had tracking or used conversion code, now thats changing this is typical of the effects as now people have more data with which to ask questions.


1:54 pm on Oct 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I understand that this practice has been around for quiet awhile and does not always indicate poor traffic quality. On the other hand this type of traffic and "partner" should be included in their content network because it is not keyword search based advertising.


6:22 am on Oct 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Having the same problem - wondering if we'll be able to block these with the new domain blocking?

I hope so - otherwise, I'm just going to shut down a lot of keywords. It's rediculous that you can't block these crap sites.


3:41 pm on Oct 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


I have noticed a trend though (probably a narrow one because the sample is relatively microscopic compared to the whole), as we manage a few accounts at Yahoo!:

If the KW is more expensive, then we see an increase in "crap" traffic from parked domains that aren't even related to the subject.

We haven't had a single conversion from those clicks.

On the flip side - we have several campaigns with less expensive key terms that do quite well with conversions and regular search traffic at Yahoo!.


4:59 am on Oct 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

jameszol, yep same issue. I was paying about 1.50/click for years on this term and now getting tons of traffic at .10 and I was the last man stading on the term. Now I am gone too. No way to absorb all of the type in traffic that does not convert and still make a buck.


10:02 am on Oct 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Frankly, I would rather have traffic from these "search partners" than from Y's search results. At least there is a fair chance that the clicks are genuine whereas a huge proportion of the search result traffic I get is junk which comes from bad IP addresses. It must be a huge problem for the SEs, even a well educated child could produce a script to go clicking through ads on multiple proxies. What we really need is the ability to block traffic from specific IP blocks - most of us are professionals and we know where the bad guys live. Any hope of this, I wonder?


7:29 am on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Same here. For the last few days I've been getting lots of traffic from domains like www.www-widgets.org and the like and I've already been charged what I paid for the whole of September. Conversion however is very low.


1:58 pm on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi Folks,

As of now you cannot turn off "search partners" and only content. However - I think there is a way to help control costs and get far less clicks on those low quality "search partners".

Heres how:

1. Select campaign Tab.

2. See list of ad groups. > Locate SS column Bid (at top) > Adjust very low, while maintaining the keyword at your current or desired bid. (you can select a different bid amount for keyword in ad group and 1 for SS bid - just as you can select different bid amounts for individual keywords in an ad group.

I am pretty sure the "SS- Sponsored search bid" is for those search partners as loosely defined in the glossary and admin panel.

If you set the SS bid to .10 cents but the key word bit to 1.00 your in an ad group the keyword when appearing on yahoo search is 1.00 but on those low quality sites it will be .10 cents.

Good luck.


3:59 am on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

This conversation is also running on this thread [webmasterworld.com ].

I have done some thorough investigation recently as I had terms increase in impression share by 300% overnight. The result was identifying new sites into the Yahoo 'search network' partner sites. The new domain blocking feature can't come fast enough for me!
Yahoo search spam accounted for 8% of our clicks last month, and of course conversion rates so low it tips those whole adgroups beyond profitable. As a result I turned off the offending keywords & adgroups till the option to opt out becomes available (these are mainly big generic terms for our industry). Since turning off these adgroups our spend has dropped dramatically but obliviously CPA has improved nicely. Iím expecting to also see decreased clicks from the Yahoo search partner sites as a result. I've had recent discussions with other search marketers (different industries to mine) who've now done investigations into their referring domains etc, and have come back reporting similar offences. They agreed it's seems to have increased dramatically in the last 2-3 months.


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