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Yahoo PPC Failures

Blackhat strategies drive good advertisers down...



4:28 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hello All,

I've been away for a bit but decided to get my fellow members input on something that just pisses me off to NO END.

I advertise with Yahoo Search Marketing and have for a while now and I noticed last week that my account wasn't performing right. Low conversions, high impressions, low click through rates...around 0.70 when I usually experience about 2.00.

My rep is a GREAT GUY and has really helped me in the past and told me it was probably market fluctuation and try to wait a few days....I did what I was told and notice yesterday that my click through rates have plummeted even further...conversions were horrible and impressions were through the ROOF...about 170,000 impressions as of 2pm cst when in a normal day I would get 40 - 50,000 TOPS. I started digging and noticed that some of the keywords were INCREDIBLY OBSCURE and stuck out like a sore thumb...naturally I disabled them...about 20 or so...I'm talking some of these keywords would have 30 or 40,000 impressions....keywords that normally get minimal impressions.

What happened?

It did what it set out to do...my traffic was slaughtered b/c over the few days these false impressions gave the overall impression my account was performing poorly therefore lowering my ad placement and giving more weight to other ads with better click throughs...giving these ads higher placement with lower costs and driving down the competition.

I initially talked to yahoo about this and was told there was nothing that could be done other than shutting off the keywords...WHICH I DID. BUT, the damage is done...I sent an email to my rep trying to get management involved to solve this problem...it just SUCKS they do not have measures in place to protect us loyal advertisers from THIEVES.

Has anyone else experienced this problem?


5:13 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Are you saying that a competitor found a low traffic keyword that you advertise on and searched tens of thousands of times to skew your CTR, thus lowering the quality of your entire campaign? How do you know who is behind these "blackhat strategies"? Does this happen often to you?

Have you ever considered that many of Yahoo search network partners send nothing but junk traffic and impressions? Could be worse in your vertical than others. Consider blocking some of those sites so that your ads do not display there.


5:38 pm on May 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I actually experienced something very similar yesterday. A very obscure KW - received only 1 click in the previous 2 1/2 months suddenly, and seemingly within the course of a couple hours, accrued more than 200 clicks. I'm following up with reps currently and have a ticket submitted to click fraud investigation. I understand market flux, but this is absurd.

Please post if you find anything else out & I will do the same.


Tropical Island

12:53 pm on May 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

It has been reported here in the past that Yahoo or one of it's partners will feature a keyword on their home pages & increase impressions many fold.

In past years I had to disable keywords because of this problem.


3:34 pm on May 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Some keyword mgmt systems allow you to set impression and/or click volume change thresholds that trigger keywords being paused.


4:19 pm on May 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

t has been reported here in the past that Yahoo or one of it's partners will feature a keyword on their home pages & increase impressions many fold.

what about some conversions? On Yahoo increase of impressions and clicks does not translate to conversions, for some strange reasons it 2 different things.


6:22 pm on May 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

MadeWillis...YEP, that's what I'm saying. It would be easy to block domains but it's not coming from anything specific. It would be easy to for the idiot to stay anon using harvested/anon. ip's....

and as far as the keyword being featured on the homepage...this keyword is sooo stupid obsurd...5 words...they wouldn't have that up on any page. I'm waiting to hear from yahoo but since I've disabled the words in question my account is doing much better and seems to be rebounding...

Natron...I was experiencing only impressions and not clicks...I hope it gets resolved for you but Yahoo's technology is so inferior in this area I bet you get the old fashioned, "nothing appears to be wrong, all is normal". Let me know though....hope they fix it brotha.


3:33 pm on May 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Some of the domain parks feature some of my KWs causing hits.

I don't mind paying for search generated clicks. But, clicks from casual surfers because an Ad already caught their eye are only worth maybe 1/100 of what I want to pay for actual PPC searched clicks.


12:12 am on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

ppc_newbie, welcome to the world of search distribution fraud...

handsome rob

1:09 pm on May 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Agreed. Traffic from 7Search doesn't suddenly become worth YSM prices just because someone funnels it through a Yahoo-driven parking page.

handsome rob

1:14 pm on May 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Called up earlier this week to check on the status of a domain blocking case opened last week, was laughed at by the rep on the phone as was told that my argument was irrelevant. Nice.


4:41 am on Jun 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

No Dice.


2:05 pm on Jun 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Searg, watch your match types. You may be experiencing an issue where Yahoo is mapping search queries to your obscure advanced match keyword because it has a higher max cpc then a similar keyword. If you experience a sudden impression increase on an obscure long tail keyword, chances are it's a mapping issue on advanced match or a yahoo syndicate, or even both.

PPC Consultant

5:06 pm on Jul 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

They were doing tests with the Google system at the time. Everything went crazy. You should see everything come back to normal now...

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