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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Yahoo! Search Marketing New Pricing Model is the Wrong New Feature

I really wish I could write something positive about Yahoo! Search Marketing. We need a viable alternative to Google AdWords. Received an email from them today about their new pricing model based on traffic quality. These are the key features they list:
  1. We'll evaluate the quality of traffic from our distribution partners' sites.
  2. Your click charges can be discounted based on the value of that traffic.
  3. Discounts will automatically be applied to your account.
No, I'd rather evaluate the quality of traffic from your distribution partners myself, thank you very much. Unfortunately, Yahoo! Search Marketing traffic hasn't looked good, lately. I think the last question in the FAQ is the most relevant one:
What if I do not want traffic from a particular source at all, regardless of the price-per-click I end up being charged?
Although we do not currently offer the ability for advertisers to opt-out of particular sources of traffic, this is a feature that we plan to begin offering later in 2007. We will certainly let you know when this feature is available.
That's the feature you should have implemented now. I'd prefer 100% traffic at 100% of the click price and 0% of the low quality distribution partner traffic. A discount on low quality traffic is still a premium. Best insight on the "big" search marketing blogs comes from Andrew Goodman on his Traffick blog:
It's a way of blunting criticisms of fraud-prone distribution partners without actually offending the partner network by taking direct action. In other words, it's an abdication of past responsibility for click fraud in the network, while trying to quietly rectify the problem.
Right on! One other FAQ question worth highlighting:
Does quality-based pricing affect Content Match traffic, too?
Yes, it applies to both Content Match and Sponsored Search.
IOW, Yahoo! sort of admits that both networks are low quality. Sigh. More details on the Y!SM blog.

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