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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

YSM FAIL

Somebody had to call FAIL on YSM (Yahoo! Search Marketing):

YSM FAIL

The problem is in the OPTIMIZATION section of the YSM Terms and Conditions, and in their explanation in response to complaints. See if you can spot the problem (emphasis mine):
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.
Read that again. Does that make you want to shift ad spend from the search advertising market leader Google AdWords over to YSM? Aaron Wall sums up this Yahoo! Search Marketing FAIL rather well (via Bronte Media):
Imagine selling web traffic as a commodity in a blind auction, while touting its value based on the traffic being targeted, relevant, precise, and trackable. Then imagine taking away the default keyword tool on the internet that has been written about in thousands of marketing books, ebooks, and web pages - and replacing it with nothing. Then imagine signing up some seedy publishing partners that run clickbots against your highest value keywords, and giving them the lion's share of the click "value" on those keywords. Then imagine not making it easy for advertisers to opt out of that "traffic." Then imagine editing your advertisers accounts without their permission to alter ad text and keywords, and only informing some of them about the changes sometime after they take place...with 1 in 5 rejecting the changes!
It really is unbelievable how many poor strategic decisions Yahoo! has made with its search advertising product. They've virtually forfeited the game to Google.

IMPORTANT TIP: If you still have a YSM account, be certain you have set an account daily spending limit! It is NOT set by default:
The account daily spending limit is the maximum amount that you want to spend each day. By default, your account daily spending limit is off, enabling you to receive the maximum number of clicks.
If some yahoo might go in and make changes to your account, you don't want to risk unlimited clicks. Yikes!

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