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Switching Back to Adsense from YPN

Ypn-Yahoo-Publisher-NetworkGoogle SmIn mid December I switched the contextual ads showing at ProBlogger from AdSense to YPN to join the beta test (through b5media’s account which is based in the US). I did it largely as an experiment to see how this new ad network performed first hand.

The results of the switch were, at the bottom line, that ProBlogger makes more money via AdSense than YPN – but only marginally.

I’ll stress that this is MY experience with YPN on just one site. b5media has other blogs that do better with YPN than AdSense so it’s very much a blog by blog thing (as it is with any ad system).

My own experience here was that CTR was two to three times less with YPN than AdSense (I put this down to ad relevancy and suspect AdSense has many more ‘blogging’ type ads than YPN. This is what let YPN down the most in my opinion as their cost per click value was significantly higher than AdSense (over double).

As a result the overall earnings between the networks were very similar.

There were three main reasons I decided to return to AdSense:

  1. Ad relevancy and usefulness – YPN was regularly serving me ads that had no relevance to the topic of this site at all. While this impacted the earnings as less people clicked – my main concern with it was that it impacts the usefulness of the ads and look and feel of the blog. ie it doesn’t look very professional for ads about pet grooming (I saw one of these yesterday) when your blog is about making money from blogs.
  2. Ad design – at a first look YPN and AdSense ads look virtually identical (or can be designed to do so) however I noticed one subtle difference with one of the ad formats that I use which concerned me a little. On my individual post page template I use the smallest ad size possible, set inside content and aligned right. In YPN this was a 120×240 pixel ad which shows two text ads in it. The problem with the ad is that because the ad unit is pretty small it doesn’t have room to show the full ad and only included the title and the first few words of the ad (sometimes as few as 3 or 4 words before using dots to indicate that there was more… Time and time again I was seeing ads on this blog that just didn’t make sense because they were chopped mid stream. AdSense on the other hand show the full ad everytime. If the ad doesn’t make sense it’s the advertisers fault and not because the ad unit was too small to show it all.
  3. Advertise on this site – Just before I switched to test YPN I noticed that ProBlogger was starting to get targeted by specific advertisers. Whether they were using the ‘advertise on this site’ feature I’m not sure – but the ability to have people target your sites can actually be a lucrative thing if you have a popular enough site and have a bidding war between a couple of advertisers who both want to compete for placing their ads on your site.

Once again I’ll stress that I recommend publishers test different advertising systems on their blogs to find the best fit for them. While AdSense just beats YPN on ProBlogger it’s not something that I’ve found in every case. I know of bloggers who have seen their earnings triple with YPN in comparison to AdSense while know of others that have had no luck what so ever with YPN at all.

Hopefully the YPN beta test will be widened in the coming months to include non US based bloggers also (I was lucky to have a way around this with b5 but know of many bloggers who are chafing at the bit to get in on it to see how it goes for them.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Jan says:

    Concerning your last alinea: Something else that might be interesting for publishers outside the US is that YPN ads are new… not only to them but also to visitors. While the conditioned visitor might not notice any difference in lay-out, with these ads they do not see the “ads by gooooooooogle” line and their intention to click might be triggered again… For comparison it would be good to see.

    We’ll just wait.

  2. JSLogan says:

    I’ve both Google and Yahoo on my site. Yahoo performs much better on my site than does Google, both in raw number of clicks and total revenue. I’ve read posts from others that have my experience, as well as many that share yours.

    Has there been any correlation to blog topic and performance of Google Adsesne and Yahoo Publisher? I wonder how much blog topic has to do with the performance of their contextual ads?

  3. Brian says:

    “chafing at the bit”? Shouldn’t that be “chomping at the bit”? :)

  4. Chris Albon says:

    I’ve put YPN on a new site of mine with mixed results aswell. However, the main problem I am having is YPN displaying duplicate (or 99% similar) ads on the same page. Not only will people not click on the same style ad twice, but the look of the site is annoying.

  5. Chi An says:

    I tried YPN on my new website. Basically it performs well, good CPC compare to Adsense. But YPN ads don’t really targeted, I always get mortage ad :S

  6. Chris says:

    From a marketing standpoint having the ads “semi” cutoff and end with (…) is very good. If I were someone that saw the title I would be more curious, in fact curious enough to click that ad more so than not if the ad wasn’t complete because I would want to know what the rest said. Some would look at it another way but if the ads are in the right place it would only make sense to click them to “see more” as the (…) indicates. But that’s my opinion. I hope to see more relevancy with ads displayed with YPN as the payout would be larger if more “targeted”.

  7. Nischal says:

    Hi,
    I have a question about the google adsense.
    I have been trying to place google ads at more than 2 places on the site.
    I was able to do only 2.
    is there a limit?

    Thanks,
    Nischal
    http://www.internetsalsa.com

  8. Darren Rowse says:

    brian – I think you’ll find chafing at the bit and chomping at the bit are two different ways of saying the same thing and that different cultures use each of them.

    jslogan – I’ve not seen anyone do any actual research into what topics work best with YPN and AdSense but am sure topic is of major impact.

    Chris Albon – yes duplicate ads is another problem that I had with YPN.

    Chris – yes I’m sure that this is why they use the (…) at the end of their ads. However the problem with it is that it relies upon advertisers being aware that their ads can be chopped after three or four words and providing copy that works with this. Some of the bigger ads show more words than the smaller ones so I’m not sure how advertisers are supposed to write their ads effectively to be honest.

    bureX – yep – its early days for YPN and I’ve no doubt they’ll improve. I’ve not written them off at all and will test them again oneday.

    Nischal – there is a limit of 3 units per page but if they don’t have enough ads on the topic you have they’ll not run the last one.

  9. Nischal says:

    Thanks Darren for your prompt response.

    Its good to know about the number of ads that can be displayed.
    Other issue is that I m not seeing relative ads from Google. Majority of the ads have nothing to do with the stuff that I write.

    Any suggestions on how to go about this?

    Please note that I also run google ad on my other site which is not a blog site. I am using under same publisher ID. On my other site the ads are relevant.

    Thanks,
    Nischal.
    http://www.internetsalsa.com

  10. Darren Rowse says:

    Nischal – it’s a pretty big topic but I outline some of the strategy for relevant ads here

  11. Steve says:

    Hey Darren

    Just as an aside – how could you tell that advertisers were targetting your site specifically via adsense? Something in the copy of the ads themselves?

  12. Darren says:

    Steve – a number of reasons. Partly because a couple of advertisers told me, partly because all of a sudden I started seeing a few very cleverly worded ads here that seemed to pick up on the vibe of ProBlogger and partly because I started seeing some image based ads that seemed to only be appearing on my own site (of course this last one might not be targetted – but my impression was that they were).

  13. Ken says:

    I’ve tried both Adsense and YPN on my site. I had to pull YPN after less than 2 weeks because it wasn’t even close. There were very few relevant YPN ads and the ctr was very poor. Adsense had plenty of relevant ads and a decent ctr. I guess that’s why Google made advertisers run their ads on both their search and content network initially. Even now, both search and content are enabled by default. Advertisers have to uncheck the content network box or click on the box to bid separately for content ads. I’m not positive about this, but I don’t think Yahoo ever required advertisers to run their ads on both search and content. As a result (and because they were late to the game), YPN does not have a lot of relevant ads for the market my site targets.

  14. Nischal says:

    Has anyone had success with other programs such as Bidvertiser?

  15. I use adsense on my site above my comments section and have made about $4 over two months. Mide you it is not any work on my part but I dont consider that too much. I signed up for Yahoo but have not been accepted yet so I dont have a view on it yet. My struggle is:

    1. Pulling in readers.
    2. I want to make sure the ads are not “in your face” but still attractive.

    Any suggestions please visit my site and let me know what you think I should do to optimize them. Thanks….

  16. Nischal says:

    Dennis Bullock..
    I might wanna play around with colors. I know you have put an effort.
    And the other thing is to try out some different formats and at different spots. Its good that you are matching your ads with the background.

    But again try some different formats and at different spots.

    Also put on your main page as well.

    Hope that helps a little.
    Thanks,
    Nischal.

  17. wb42 says:

    re: bidvertiser. I’m experimenting with that and crispads. bidvertiser may have potential. It’s taking a while to figure out the best way to implement it and I’m having trouble getting a wide variety of ads. But, I’ll try anything after the way Chitika dumped me on false pretenses! I’m also running adsense and just have a devil of a time getting ANY clicks, even though they seem to be matching up pretty well with the content.

  18. Nischal says:

    Bidvertiser–I like it in some ways.

    -If you decide to change the format on the ad then you can simply do that from their website without having to do it in your site.
    By changing on their website will automatcially update the format on your site.

    -the other interesting thing is that you can preview the ads while you are changing –right next to you without having to open a new window.

    -It can get lil tricky about managing the campaigns as long as you name your campaign correctly and meaningful. Neverthless, I found somewhat easy to manage..

    Lets see how it goes…may be there are some disadvantages also…Will see for that as well as time goes on.

  19. Lea says:

    Darren, did you consider a proper split test? ie. running the ads through the same period.
    Its hard to compare when you don’t know if Adsense CTR might have fallen at the same time :(

  20. Hock says:

    I’m currently running a survey of YPN users to find out more about others’ experiences with the program. If you’d like to participate in the survey, please go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=77530746166 – it’s a simple 5 question survey. Results will be posted as soon as I get a few more responses. The early data show that many people are doing very well with YPN.

  21. mark says:

    I didn’t get a chance to test YPN as I’m Canadian.. I did get invited to however, so that sucks :(

  22. pcunix says:

    I’ve cut way back on YPN. I still run them a small percentage of the time, but the performance was very disappointing compared to Adsense. Now I run them only to help combat ad blindness and probably won’t even hit the $100.00 minimum.

    I’m disappointed because Adsense needs some strong competition. They really don’t give us the resources we should have to improve our stats and are very slow to react to needed change. Only real competition is going to affect that.

  23. Power Play says:

    Speaking of Ad Blindness, I’ve got a great article reading this on my blog.
    These stats should interest many using internet advertising either as a publisher or as an advertiser:
    http://powerplayers.blogspot.com

  24. I also had better results with Adsense than YPN on one of my international websites.

  25. Jose says:

    I have heard that Google Adsense gives much better results than YPN.

Trackbacks

  1. Problogger on YPN v. Google Adsense

    Darren posts at Problogger about his decision to switch back to Google’s Adsense after trying Yahoo Publisher:The results of the switch were, at the bottom line, that ProBlogger makes more money via AdSense than YPN – but only marginally. I’ll…

  2. [...] Read his full article at Problogger.net. Technorati Tags: Darren Rowse, Yahoo! Publisher Network, Adsense [...]

  3. [...] Over at ProBlogger, Darren announces his switch back to Adsense adverts after a trial with Yahoo! Publisher Network (YPN) ads. While the post includes many interesting points that could be relevant to this blog as well, I find myself resonating to his last paragraph: Hopefully the YPN beta test will be widened in the coming months to include non US based bloggers also (I was lucky to have a way around this with b5 but know of many bloggers who are chafing at the bit to get in on it to see how it goes for them. [...]

  4. [...] YPN – Yahoo Publisher Network is Yahoo’s alternative to AdSense. I have seen mixed reviews on payout. Darren at problogger.net switched back to AdSense on his blog but kept it on other sites. This tells me it seems to be site specific, try it out and leave your feedback. [...]

  5. [...] YPN – Yahoo Publisher Network is Yahoo’s alternative to AdSense. I have seen mixed reviews on payout. Darren at problogger.net switched back to AdSense on his blog but kept it on other sites. This tells me it seems to be site specific, try it out and leave your feedback. [...]

  6. [...] Others have made the switch in the past and run studies on comparisons between the two services. Darren Rowse of Problogger.net fame comes to mind. Darren’s sticking points go beyond click thru percentages and eCPM, as he found that advertisers were actually buying ads on his site through Google AdSense – a service YPN has not yet launched. There is also the International appeal of AdSense, while YPN is still gearing up for its advertising launches in Japan and the UK. [...]

  7. [...] 4. YPN – Yahoo’s contextual advertising system is still in beta (it has been a longer process than many expected) and is yet to fully compete with AdSense. I’ve given it a go (via b5’s account) and wasn’t too impressed with how it converted here at ProBlogger but do know of some bloggers who continue to find that it does well for them. I think it’s a blog by blog proposition but is definitely an ad network to consider if you can get into the beta test. [...]