One of the benefits of moving ProBlogger into the b5media network is that I have access to YPN now as b5 is a US company. I’ve just added switched my AdSense ads over to YPN to give it a test (as we’ve done with a number of our blogs). It’s too early to see any of the stats but the switch was reasonably painless.
Why did I change? The main reason was curiosity. As I’ve said before, I don’t make a lot from the ads on ProBlogger (although it has been a bit higher in the past month or so it is still less than 1% of my daily earnings) so it’s not directly about the money – rather it’s an experiment that I’d like to share here and something I hope to learn from for the time that YPN goes live to international publishers and when I can sign up for my personal blogs.
I’ve changed a couple of the ad sizes as YPN has less options on this front, but have largely kept things exactly as they were before. The only other disadvantage of YPN is that they don’t have an Adlinks equivalent which means the strip of Adlinks that ran between my header boxes and the rest of content are now gone. This is a bit of a downer for me as they were the second best performing ad on this site (but I’ll take a little hit for the sake of the experiment).
So far the ads are very irrelevant but I’ve heard it can take a day or two for YPN to get a handle on what a site is about. The YPN back-end interface is easy to understand and a pleasure to use. Reports seem pretty comprehensive.
Results from the other b5 blogs that we’ve switched to YPN are interesting so far. We’ve seen a definite decrease in CTR (largely due to poorer ad relevancy as far as I can tell) but a quite remarkable increase in Click Value on most blogs we’ve tested it on so far. This has led to most of the blogs having a similar overall income to when they were with AdSense with a couple having higher than normal earnings. It’s too early to tell whether our initial results are going to stay at these levels but the indications so far are that YPN has potential.
I suspect that YPN has less ads in their stock to serve to ads at this early stage of it’s life. They are after-all still in beta so hopefully this will improve and lead to more relevant ads and a higher click through rate. Ad relevancy is something to keep in mind with any ad system as it will not only directly correlate with CTR and overall performance but has the ability to add to or detract from your blog.
At present the ads YPN are serving here are about Real Estate, Graphic Art Designs and Accounting packages – while I’ll give them a day or two to settle I doubt I’ll leave them up for long unless they start serving relevant ads as they disrupt the vibe of the page too much. AdSense on the other hand was serving highly relevant ads on blog software, advertising systems etc. This was probably partly due to some advertisers directly targeting my site.
My advice to bloggers trying to work out whether to go with YPN is as always to test and track. Some blogs will definitely benefit from YPN’s higher click value. If you have a blog on topics where there are lots of ads you could do very well. However other blogs will not do as well and it may be in your best interests to stay with AdSense or other options. The key is to be tracking the performance of whatever system you’re using currently and then when you swap over to track YPN using their channels system.
So here at ProBlogger I had AdSense set up in a way where I could see how each ad unit performed with it’s own channel and now with YPN I have the same channels so I can do direct comparisons. This will enable me to make an informed decision about which one performs best.
Time will tell the story though so I’ll give it a few days to see what happens.