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Yahoo SM - EXTREMELY scary new terms

I can't believe this is even legal... Thoughts?



5:45 pm on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have never been more mind-boggled by a change in the T&C's of a major corporation as I am by the recent change in YSM, which I shockingly have not seen reported in WebmasterWorld?

First, READ this:

"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."

So let's summarize here. Yahoo now has the ability to ADD keywords, MODIFY ads and make overall optimization changes to your account, at any time, and it is YOUR responsibility to pay for the charges incurred by these changes.

As Andy Beal (MarketingPilgrim) commented, "Can you imagine if your investment adviser started buying stocks on your behalf or switched your portfolio from bonds to hedge funds?"

I am in SHOCK right now.


5:51 pm on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Okay so a bid of an update as I read on... it seems this was not a totally new development, but frankly was new to me, and still just as scary that this exists in their terms. I really do question the legality of this.


6:04 pm on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

There was a big discussion on this a few months back when the changes you outlined above were introduced...


The general reaction (myself included) was pretty similar to your own.

I've received notice from Yahoo that they've made some new changes, but haven't gone through the new T&C's yet to see what they are. Anyone noticed any significant new additions?


8:06 pm on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I wonder if this is only in there for advertisers who have the campaign optimization turned on?

Has anyone heard more from a representative of Yahoo on this yet?

[edited by: MadeWillis at 8:07 pm (utc) on Jan. 6, 2009]


12:27 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

arieng is right on. I guess this isn't a major deal, cause it has been part of the terms for a while. Yes, there was an outcry months ago, but very few see any Yahoo reps doing this.


2:31 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Anyone have an example of what Yahoo did of your behalf and what the outcome was?


5:20 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I called my rep and asked them to ensure that we would not have any changes made. At first, I was told that accounts could not be excluded. I raised a fuss and was told to submit an email request, to which I received a confirmation that no changes would be made to my account with my permission. Haven't seen any, so I guess they're following the rules.


6:28 pm on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

like watching an implosion in super duper slow motion...


4:23 pm on Jan 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>>Anyone have an example of what Yahoo did of your behalf and what the outcome was?

I have used both Y and G optimisation services. The results in general were improved top line sales but lower ad spend ROI.

Close examination of their optimised programs can also lead you down profitable keyword paths you might miss interpreting your server logs.

Yea I don't like the auto changes but you can turn it off. Take insight from their auto systems as you can.


5:00 pm on Jan 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Just looked at the UK TOS, and it appears to say the same thing. Worrying.


5:17 pm on Jan 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

When they first announced this, I got on the phone and yelled long and hard about getting my client accounts opted out of this. Finally got confirmation that they were.

However, this week I took everyone out of Yahoo for good. The returns we get from Yahoo are just plain not good enough to justify even having to *think* about this, let alone worry about it.

There's better uses for my clients' money. I'm not sure how this is even legal, but once again - I don't want to worry about it. So bye bye it is (and we were in Yahoo (Overture) before we were in Google)

This really isn't a move a company should be making unless they're making it from a position of strength - and Yahoo isn't in a position of strength in my opinion.


5:59 pm on Jan 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I spend about $20,000 a month with yahoo and got an email keywords were added to my account. Sort of a nice touch because they do all the legwork for you...the problem is...Yahoo is not good at all at getting good keywords. If your a seasoned ppc operator your not going to find that 'hidden gym' or 'holy grail' keyword due to the research they provide.

They will put the new keywords into a new campaign for you to monitor...after a few days I disabled the whole campaign they added because the only thing it was doing was bringing my overall CTR DOWN THE TUBES....


10:31 pm on Jan 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

like watching an implosion in super duper slow motion...

If you are talking about Yahoo being one of the many companies that won't be around in 3 years, this is an implosion. This smacks of that LookSmart ganking back in 2001 or 2002 when the desperation was getting pretty thick.

Short the stock and make some money, they're toast.


1:47 am on Jan 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Their days are numbered. I've been with them since GoTo days. They just seem tired and expired, kind of like the 1999 expiration credit card that they still show in my account in this long list of them. I've been thinking this for years though. The feelings got stronger back when "Panama" kept being delayed and then seeing a sad unveiling at a conference. I kept hoping but there just isn't much coherent leadership or spark. Just a long slow declining slide.


2:42 pm on Jan 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

In the past when I used Yahoo more heavily, I would submit ads and almost always they would edit them to just include the keywords in the Ad Title.

I had some proven ads I used on Google that I wanted to test on Yahoo and they did not always contain the exact keyword in the title.

Every time I would submit them, Yahoo would edit my titles to just include the keywords.

It ruined the whole flow of the ads and looked very spammy. I would have to submit 3-4 support requests every time I submitted new ads before they would stop....and sometimes they never did so I just diabled those ads.

I personally think it is a blatant move on Yahoo's part to increase ad revenue. Generally keyword in title means more clicks and that is probably all they care about not my ROI or yours.


5:03 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Yikes, no touchy!

Seriously though... no touchy!

If I can't manage my own activities properly I wouldn't use the services to begin with. I don't use YPN however so I can't comment on the effects.


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