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Yahoo Conversions Way Down

12:45 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Has any one noticed massive chnages in conversions over the last 3 days? I think thats it. Yahoo Search marketing sucks. Not only do they give you terrible traffic from content sites you cant opt out of exceot the 250 limit (not nearly enough).

Can you say Class Action Law Suit?

2:29 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The drop off in conversions has been occurring for the past couple of months. I think it has to do with the recent changes to their system. A majority of their traffic seems to come from poor quality sites. They added an inactivity function on keywords creating an artificial floor. That’s a bad combination.

Also, it looks like they are reposting the top bidders from the first page on proceeding pages. So even in your not inactive but have a low bid your probably wont get many clicks if your not one of the top bidders.

There have been many comments about Yahoo’s recent performance.


We decided to treat Yahoo like a 3rd tier search engine. We're in the process of turning off campaigns, inactivating key words that have high min floors and lowering bids to the minimum.

We went from spending approx $150,000 per month to $100 bucks a day.

2:39 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

A lot of my keywords that were previously inactive have been reactivated lately. We too have experienced a massive drop in conversion rate though, and have shifted almost all of our YSM budget to other PPC platforms and online advertising vehicles. As I told one of my reps, it doesn't matter how much I like the reps at YSM -- if the bottom of your spreadsheet has red numbers and parentheses, I'm going elsewhere.
5:39 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

vstevens - we have had a massive drop in performance with YSM as well. Looks like Yahoo is trying to improve their revenue at the expense of their advertisers. They should know by now their is now quick fix to their issues.

YSM has been our worst performer the last couple of months. We're in the process of phasing them out.

10:43 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

So are you seeing lower conversions for the same volume of clicks, or the same volume of conversions but with higher volume of clicks? Or something in between?
11:01 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I'm personally seeing that yahoo conversion pixel isn't tracking properly since yesterday -- across all clients I manage. No word from my rep about it yet. I was seeing a general downturn in Yahoo conversions for several clients in the last three months as well. I agree it's poor quality traffic and have been focusing more on building out MSN and AdWords, and pushing my clients HARD on landing page testing.
11:06 pm on Sep 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

any new domains to exclude?
4:06 pm on Sep 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Basically you should exclude everything but Yahoo and several other sites.

Yahoo is entering MIVA territory. The main differences are that Miva doesn't inactivate keywords to drive up the price and Yahoo has a larger staff of people who have no clue what they are doing.

8:00 am on Sep 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I thought this was just happening to me! I just decided to check my stats over the last few days for a campaign on Y and have realised that in the last week or so, not a single ad group within that campaign has been profitable and yet a few weeks ago these same ad groups were converting well. I have now paused the entire campaign and will consider what to do next. G and MSN remain remain profitable at this time. Seems like Y have screwed up big time, and they have had the audacity to increase minimum bids considerably on some keywords just lately!
1:18 pm on Sep 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

They are really making a push to generate revenue at the expense of their advertisers. Poor quality traffic, raising min bids and inactivating key terms. That does not sound like a good business model. I give them several more months until their stock price drops to an attractive level and they are swallowed up.
1:44 pm on Sep 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


I have spoken to multiple advertisers in the industry and they are having simliar problems with Yahoo. I'm having better than ever profit margins with both G and MSN. Yahoo can't seem to get their act together.

Even if you block the 250 domains they have 1000's of other poor quality sites each driving 1 to 3 clicks per day. Your AE will talk out of the side of his/her mouth. Don't fall for it. They are well aware of the situation.

1:48 pm on Sep 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Anyone else want to share recent Y search performance? Either good or bad. Thanks.
1:41 pm on Sep 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think if the people buying shares of YHOO read WebmasterWorld and a few other webmaster forums first, the stock price would look very different.
2:13 pm on Sep 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


So you mean to say that lots of advertisers seeing lower ROI on increasing spend on Y! Search likely means their revenues will be good this quarter?

3:15 pm on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

No, I mean that glancing over these forums and others, I see a lot of advertisers who are unhappy with YSM's performance. Many of whom are opinion leaders and influencers and who DON'T expect to turn an instant profit with every campaign.

They have given YSM a fair chance, many of us for years, and are leaving for other paid traffic sources. How tolerant to negative or poor ROI PPC campaigns do you think new advertisers will be? Small business owners on their AOL accounts with no real analytics watching their money disappear one click at a time and waiting for big conversions that never come? You think they can outpace the rate at which advertisers leave, multiplied by falling share of the search market?

Yahoo's market share continues to slide, YSM ROI continues to fall, advertisers have increasingly less control over where their money is spent, employees are abandoning ship in droves, and savvy SEM's are making no secret of their sub-par experiences with their YSM campaigns. In what world is this sustainable long term?

YSM's "partners" and their other policies that exist only to inflate click volume with no regard for traffic quality keep the ship floating on a bubble. All bubbles burst.

8:06 pm on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


I didn't read anything about increase spend. I'm guessing that most advertisers will reduce their spend on Y becuase of the lack of performance.

11:29 pm on Sep 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's just the fact that they have so many bad search partners that can't fully be blocked. The more they add, the more it dilutes their good traffic, and the worse off it is for advertisers. They are simply settling for the quick buck at the risk of losing long term advertisers.
2:51 am on Sep 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member

You'd sure think that they would add an "exclude all search partners". If they did this they would see their earning increase as more people would be willing to open up their wallets knowing that the search arbitrage clicks are making into ysm any more. This would more than offset the crappy search partners they let in now.
3:04 am on Sep 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


That would be true in the long term, but in the short term they'd take a huge revenue hit.

3:43 am on Sep 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member

So true. Why look in the long term when you have to please your shareholders in the short term? :) :(.
12:56 pm on Sep 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

There is an easy solution. They can create a new bucket for new partner sites with separate biding. All previous partners can be added to the new bucket on a gradual basis. This will allow advertiser's bids to keep pace with performance. It would be a win win.
1:08 pm on Sep 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member

Good idea there msem. I bid .001 for all partner sites :). Heck maybe even I'd bid more just to save my time from playing "hit the monkey on the head" every time an arbitrage "partner" pokes his head up.
12:55 am on Oct 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thank Everyone. I've been like tweaking like mad trying to improve it. I think they are defiantly getting more like Looksmart and Miva at this point. I am giving it 2 more weeks at best before I take my ad spend portion from yahoo and assign it to G & MSN.

Its a shame because at one point it showed some promise. The other thing I will add is that at last, they finally show geographically where your clicks are coming from now as well to help battle competitor click fraud. Kudos, but a bit too late, much too late.

9:44 pm on Oct 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'm seeing behavior in Yahoo accounts that looks a lot like Google's Expanded Broadmatch: Wild increases in traffic on a handful of high bid keywords set to Advanced match, associated with conversion rate collapses.

Solution: Switch match type to Standard. The problem goes away.

9:09 pm on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yahoo has been deteriorating all year, but this past week has been Really bad. I'm going to be putting a lot more work into Google, MSN, and Ask.

I'm also going to try switching over the Standard Match on Yahoo and see how that works. Anyone else having luck with that?

1:24 am on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

When I started running campaigns, it was really bad so I stopped and Focused a lot on G. I resumed advertising on Y three weeks ago. i just change bids everyday and i got this good conversions on every campaign on a 5 bucks a day budget.
3:06 pm on Nov 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Is anyone experiencing any luck by switching entire account over to standard match?
2:58 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Just to follow up, I switched one campaign over to standard match only and I saw cost drop by about 50%. Still looking to see if this has any affect on conversions.
1:13 am on Nov 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Yahoo Marketing what a Circus I tried for 2 months
I never seen so many rules regulations
I am Not that great with computers but when you just want to advertise a product, you cant put youre phone Number Thats ridiculus! And now I am getting some jargon about Analytics. I am sorry Yahoo when the Money runs out I am gone
Google Absolutely brilliant really easy to use I get calls!
because you can list youre telephone number! on add!
from people that seen my add on sites I never heard, of Just wanted to add my tuppence worth because really disappointed in Yahoo Marketing

Cheers Frank


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