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YPN Publishers Experiencing Down Time

I’ve had emails from 4 different YPN publishers who tell me that the ads on their blogs are not showing and have not been for most of the day just gone by. Forums like Digital Point’s YPN down? thread seem to confirm that the problem is more widely spread than just a few isolated cases.

I just logged into b5media’s YPN account and the back end is not working but the blogs we’re running the ads on are definitely not showing them either.

I guess publishers need to remember that YPN is in beta and from time to time will have problems. It’s not really any comfort but part of the process.

update: not long after posting this I started seeing ads on our blogs that run YPN so perhaps things are back up and running again.

YPN’s Ad Placement Advice Compared to AdSense Advice

The YPN blog has posted a few ad placement tips based upon eye tracking studies that find that website users view pages in the following pattern:

Eye-Tracking

They recommend a leaderboard ad above the fold between content and the top navigation bar.

Secondly they suggest using vertical skyscrapers to the right of content.

Thirdly they suggest rectangle ads in content.

I find this interesting strategy as it’s a little different from AdSense’s suggested ad placement which suggests the following ‘hot zones’.

20060125-Google-Heat-Map

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Yahoo’s Advertising Overhaul Officially announced

Loren has posted details of the email that Yahoo sent it’s advertisers which has details of the overhaul they’re doing on their advertising program. Looks like they’re definitely doing some worthwhile updates including geo-targetting, quicker ad activation, budgeting/planning tools etc. To be honest I had thought Yahoo already had all this built into their system and am quite surprised that they’ve let AdWords get so far in front.

Also read the official press release announcement from Yahoo as well as a note to YPN publishers on the YPN blog telling them that the improvements in the advertisers end of the process will lead to improved performance of their ads also.

Yahoo unveils ‘overhaul’ of online advertising

Yahoo will today announce an overhaul of their online advertising system which will change the way they rank which ads to show says MSNBC:

‘A new ranking formula, to be adopted later this year, will also take into account the “click-through rate” of an advert, along with a number of other secret factors, said Mr Cadogan – an approach that echoes the one followed by Google.’

As the article says, this is similar to what Google has done with AdWords previously. It looks like the changes are just being announced today and the rollout is to happen in the third quarter. It will be interesting to see if YPN publishers see much of a change when the ‘overhaul’ happens.

Source – John Bartelle who has had a run through of the new system.

Yahoo! Publisher Network Responds to Publisher Termination Reports

A few days ago I reported that YPN had had another round of terminating publishers from their network for ‘poor quality traffic’.

Today YPN have responded to the attention that their actions got around the web in a statement on their blog – Maintaining a Quality Network. They write:

“As noted on certain message boards, some publisher accounts have been recently closed. These account closures were based solely on traffic quality issues.

Yahoo! Publisher Network is still an invite-only beta program. As such, we’re constantly refining the procedures and policies that will help maintain a quality network for our publishers and advertisers. And we won’t release the product to the general publishing community until we are able to serve our constituent’s needs well.

This is a learning experience for everyone, one of the main concerns for our 100,000-plus advertisers who participate is the quality of traffic they receive. For advertisers, we need to consider the source of traffic, the site content, click activity, and the overall quality of leads generated for our advertisers.

As publishers you are also concerned with quality – the quality and relevance of the ads you receive and how well they monetize on your sites….”

Yahoo Publisher Network Terminates More Publisher Accounts

This morning I’ve had an email from a very disgruntled YPN publisher who has received a phone call from YPN saying that their account has been terminated because they have used MySpace to send traffic to their ‘legitimate’ website which has YPN. The thrust of the reason given to them for the termination was that the traffic being sent was not of a ‘high enough quality’.

Looking at the forums on the topic it seems that this publisher is not alone.

This could be a second round of such terminations. A couple of months ago I reported a batch of publishers having their accounts terminated for having too much international traffic.

update: Jen has more comprehensive news of this development with some interesting commentary at MySpace.com and Yahoo Publisher Network apparently don’t mix

Yahoo! Publisher Network Blog

Another older piece of news that I missed while away last week:

YPN have launched a blog for their YPN publishers.

  • Give publishers – you folks – a voice in the evolution of the Yahoo! Publisher Network and its products.
  • Build a place where you can come and learn about the latest updates and enhancements to the Network
  • Showcase your work and your contributions to making Yahoo! Publisher Network what is today – and to what it will become tomorrow
  • Provide a community space where you can learn from other publishers how to be a better one yourself

They’ll be posting interviews and profiles of YPN publishers as well as news relevant to publishers. Looks like a good RSS feed to subscribe to.

Interview with YPN Manager

Sugarrae has posted an Interview with Josh Siegel of Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN).

Rae starts off by asking a good question about ad relevancy – a topic that I’ve heard quite a few YPN publishers complaining about (in fact I’ve done it myself after running YPN here at ProBlogger for a month or so and seeing pretty poor results). Josh doesn’t really admit to any problems:

JS: I’m glad you bring this up because we’ve found that the majority of our publishers have been very happy with the ads served on their site. We do find typically that sites that have little content are harder for our crawlers to find matching ads to serve. Additionally, if your site has terms that we deem sensitive then we will serve generally targeted ads. My suggestion to help improving the ads targeted in your site is to use our Ad Targeting feature (which allows the publisher to influence the type of ad category) and make sure your content is well described and updated regularly.’

The other question that interests me in the interview is one Rae asks about YPN’s absence from the international scene. The question is a good one but once again Josh’s answer is fairly much the standard line we’ve been getting – ie the US is the focus of the beta test so that they can hone the formula for a wider rollout… challenges in going global… can’t say when we’ll release more widely…

While I understand the mammoth task of rolling out something globally I’m starting to sense a growing bitterness among international publishers towards YPN at a grass roots level. I know every time I mention them I get emails and comments on this international issue. From what I can tell the international rollout seems to be some time away and and I do wonder if they are going to have to do something to appease the international publishing community who could well go on a cyber-riot if they don’t get some attention.

YPN tweaks system

I just logged into b5′s YPN account and noticed a few changes (this must be why I’ve been locked out of it today).

The first change is their new ‘messages’ feature (pictured below) which outlines the latest changes at YPN.

Ypn-Changes

Click on the ‘subjects’ of one of the messages and you get a nice little popup message that ‘greys out’ the background and highlights the message in white and tells you what the change is (see below).

Ypn-Message

The second change is – as the message says above – a new reporting feature that lets you delete and edit reporting categories.

All in all the changes are pretty minor – tweaks really – as they continue to hone their system.

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