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Big Changes to Yahoo Sponsored Search TOS

Yahoo can now make changes to your account without prior approval

     

seth_wilde

7:37 pm on Jun 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Yahoo search marketing recently made a major change to their TOS that allows them to access and make changes to your accounts without your prior approval. The full text is below.

OPTIMIZATION. In the U.S. only, for those advertisers not bound by an Insertion Order, we may help you optimize your account(s). Accordingly, you expressly agree that we may also: (i) create ads, (ii) add and/or remove keywords, and/or (iii) optimize your account(s). We will notify you via email of such changes made to your account(s), and can also include a spreadsheet of such changes upon your written request. If you would like any of such changes reversed, please reply to such email within 14 days of the change(s), and we will make commercially reasonable efforts to reverse the change(s) you specifically identify. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you remain responsible for all changes made to your account(s), including all click charges incurred prior to any reversions being made. It is your responsibility to monitor your account(s) and to ensure that your account settings are consistent with your business objectives.

I'm not sure how wide spread this optimization is yet (my account manager said her department is not participating in the practice at this time). But to opt out you need to email them.

Link To Yahoo! TOS [info.yahoo.com]

[edited by: werty at 10:39 pm (utc) on June 4, 2008]
[edit reason] Added Link to TOS [/edit]

Tropical Island

12:17 am on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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



Par for the course, given YSM's strategy for the past year or so.

This has been going on for much longer than 1 year.

Read back through the threads for the last 4 to 5 years.

I was actually criticized by a moderator for being Overture (Yahoo) negative some years ago. Within days of this admonishment the Yahoo forum was full of other negative comments.

The people that have been in control of Yahoo / Overture for the last years are morally deficient. There is no "do no evil" here.

CernyM

1:27 am on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Yahoo called me last year to "optimize" my account for me.

I let them take a stab at it. Basically, they took phrases I was bidding 0.25 for and jacked them up to 1.00.

Took me a couple of days to notice. I threw a fit and they refunded all the money they burned through - but there's no way I'd let them touch my account like that again.

pageoneresults

1:45 am on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



When I can find "one" all encompassing PPC interface similar to Google's, that is the one we'll use. Until then, it's Google AdWords from day one. If budget permits, we may look at additional advertising on Yahoo! and Live but for now, they still have much more work to do before they catch up with The Gorg. Personally, I feel the tight budgets are better spent with Google. If you've got some money to throw up against the wall, then the others may be an option.

I can't really knock Yahoo! Sponsored Search. Why? Truthfully? I've not used it since Overture. And, if my clients wish to use it, I direct them to the proper destinations to get them set up. We'll let them manage from there. I think I only have one client actively pursuing a PPC Campaign outside of Google. Hey, I'll be honest...

eljefe3

3:02 am on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member



Combine this with the ever increasing minimum bids for keywords, they are going to be finding out that they are shooting themselves in the foot. I haven't looked at my ysm account in almost a year, decided to look and see that all my kw's were inactive and i needed to raise minimum bids. On a couple of kw's I did this, only to find the next day the new minimum was increased again. Clowns!

Commerce

7:34 am on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



See what happens when you pull critical thinking out of the school systems?

Back in the late 1990s I did a local radio show to help small businesses and entrepreneurs. One of the messages I tried to hammer home to my audience was "It is said that it costs 5 times as much to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing customer - so keep your customers happy".

Perhaps this is a first stab at some new web 3.0 business model: Drive your costs up and your revenue down while generating brand mistrust in a weak economy...

And some folks here said Microsoft would ruin Yahoo. Heck, they seem to be doing it just fine by themselves.

Doh!

PCInk

12:38 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



How can Yahoo actually do this? Would it be legal if they put a bid for $10.00 against a keyword? What if you only make $5.00 on the product? What if it isn't a product you actually sell (i.e. bidding on "exhaust pipes", when you only sell exhaust pipes for Ford cars)? How do they know how much you make, what your ROI is and what the conversation rate for your particular site is? Do they know how many customers come back as repeat customers to your particular site without clicking an advert? How do they know I can afford it or what my credit limit is on my credit card? Would they be responsible for any charges incurred?

They only touched my account once by changing my company name and changed the spelling to something different so it was then all wrong. Touch my account again and I'll delete it and all my clients as well.

[edited by: PCInk at 12:41 pm (utc) on June 5, 2008]

RhinoFish

1:46 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



They're focusing on profiting in the wrong way... they need to give us the tools and quality of clicks so that we can profit, then we'll pour our money and time into their ppc engine.

Classic short term versus long term thinking going on.

Zamboni

2:47 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I wonder if you paused all your campaigns but left a daily spending limit on your account if they would actually start a new campaign for you to use up your budget?

civgroup

5:11 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



We must be an anomaly. Yahoo actually performs for us with a lower CPA than Google and MSN, but we still spend less with them than with Google because they just don't have the traffic. If Yahoo wants more money out of us, I'm more than willing to give it to them, but they are going to need to boost visitors, not steal from their advertisers.

CatLady

5:24 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Unbelievable..... I couldn't easily find a proper email to use to opt out of this so I decided to get on the phone and give them a piece of my mind. In addition to opting out, I made it very clear that I have now *greatly* reduced my daily spending budget because I don't want to have to be worried about having someone tinkering with my account if there was any spending budget left over. Really hope they have a change of heart on this TOS change - what were they thinking?

superclown2

6:42 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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



I stopped dealing with Yahoo a year ago when they refused to block a proxy server and a university IP address which were both sending me multiple automated calls every day for more than two months on the grounds that "the calls may have been coming from a genuine ISP". I asked if I could have a named person to report abuses like this to, they told me it wasn't possible. Frankly this latest move doesn't surprise me in the least, it's par for the course and underlines my decision never to spend another penny with them until the management structure is changed completely.

arieng

8:16 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



We must be an anomaly. Yahoo actually performs for us with a lower CPA than Google and MSN, but we still spend less with them than with Google because they just don't have the traffic.

Not an anomoly, we're in the same boat. The CPA is better, but overall its less than a tenth of the traffic that Google drives.

I just got off the phone with a rep who told me pretty much the same as everyone else, I could request an opt-out and they would "do their best" not to change my account but would make no promises.

The one new thing she did mention is that I would receive an email outlining any upcoming changes before they were made. I would have 14 days to respond before the changes went into effect.

If that's truly the case, I can live with it and just decline any changes they plan. If not, I'll have to close the account. There's just not enough reward to warrant the risk.

JBrown

8:53 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I would have 14 days to respond before the changes went into effect.

It sounds like this is a direct response to Google's Automatic Matching beta. If the number 1 player in search can run an opt-out effort to get more cash out of advertisers, why shouldn't the number 2 player in search do the same?

eWhisper

9:26 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It's not difficult to switch to IOs. It can be a bit of a pain setting up them up until you have a good process in place , but if you want Yahoo to keep their hands off you account, then its the way to go.

shorebreak

12:13 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



You said it JBrown, this is Yahoo's automatic un-automatic automatic match response.

jastra

7:42 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Seen enough, heard enough. I'm advising all the clients whose YSM accounts I manage to close them and move the money to Google. From my earliest days of dealing with these folks it's been as if they're doing us all a favor. Goodbye.

JBrown

6:15 pm on Jul 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Anyone have thoughts on Ad Profiling? See:
[ppchero.com...]

I'm including it as part of this thread since it seems related to those TOS changes.

arieng

4:33 pm on Jul 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Ad Profiling? You have to kidding!

I've already paused about 90% of the campaign. If someone were to reactivate and up the spend, I could burn through some serious cash pretty quickly.

I think this may be the final straw, the risk has finally outweighed any conceivable benefit. I'm out.

PPC Consultant

4:51 pm on Jul 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



1- wait and see what will happen. If you really care that much, you must have really good data right now on your ctr, conversion and cpc of each one of your KWs. Monitor and see what happens.
2-This chnage does not apply to clients that have an IO (no CC billing). If you are spending mega bucks, get off the CC payment system, and sign an IO. Yes, it means you are promising to spend with them, but hey, works for me!

chewy

6:09 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



pls clarify - what is an IO?

handsome rob

1:19 pm on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



>> 1- wait and see what will happen. If you really care that much, you must have really good data right now on your ctr, conversion and cpc of each one of your KWs. Monitor and see what happens.
2-This chnage does not apply to clients that have an IO (no CC billing). If you are spending mega bucks, get off the CC payment system, and sign an IO. Yes, it means you are promising to spend with them, but hey, works for me!

Wait and see? You mean like we do with their search/publisher partners? Wait for them to spend more of our money without our involvement? That's your solution?

Even YSM's evangelists aren't making sense these days.

To anyone who doesn't want an IO and doesn't want to "wait and see", I'd recommend emailing every YSM rep you have contact info for and making it known that you do not want this done at any time to your account. I did that and got a response in writing stating that my account would be opted out of any optimization programs.

Lts95

1:18 pm on Aug 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Is this the same as the 'Optimization Budget Allowance Opportunity' in your Account settings?
This 52 message thread spans 2 pages: 52
 

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