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Old 03-22-2006   #1
telNform
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Yahoo Publishers Network Wants You To Block Non-US Traffic

While digg'ing today I found a post at BoingBoing which i found interesting and wanted to know if we could get some clarification on this.

www. boingboing.net /2006/03/22/ yahoo_if_you_use_our.html

The author is stating that YPN has told him he cannot serve YPN ads to any users on his site that are not US-based traffic.

I have been using YPN with tons of non-US traffic for months and months (since it launched). Has anyone heard anything about this?

Last edited by telNform : 03-23-2006 at 11:14 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-22-2006   #2
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It is a part of their TOS, yes. I can't imagine, though, that they really think small publishers are going to be able manage it. How many mom and pop sites do you know that have the savvy to only serve ads to a specific locale? I don't know...just seems like an unreasonable expectation on their part.
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Old 03-23-2006   #3
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Hi-

Weve received a lot of feedback today about our publisher traffic policies, so Im writing to offer some guidance. As you know, our publisher terms and conditions prohibit displaying ad listings to users outside of the U.S. This is because the beta is intended for publishers who support primarily a US audience.

That said, we do want to help our publishers with this situation. Therefore, we are going to work with our team in the coming weeks to create some solutions that our publishers can choose to use. Ill be sure to follow up soon.

I know this post doesnt offer immediate help, but Im confident that these efforts will be helpful in the long run. As always, please keep sending me your feedback.

YahooSarah
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Old 03-23-2006   #4
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Finally pulled me out of lurking

I was testing YPN a while back when word started going around that some publishers' accounts were being suspended because of serving ads to non-US traffic. My reaction? Pull YPN off the test site. The test was losing me a bit of money anyway and I just couldn't see why should I go through the hassle to implement a solution that should already be in place. So, instead of a month-long test I cut it short after two weeks, not really long enough to come to any solid conclusions about the program.

That's a lose-lose situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YahooSarah
Therefore, we are going to work with our team in the coming weeks to create some solutions that our publishers can choose to use.
In creating a solution Y! must look to doing so where it belongs -- on the backend. I'm a publisher, not a programmer, so if it takes more than me pasting some ad code into my pages, well, I guess I can find better things to do with my time.
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Old 03-23-2006   #5
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Request or compliance

Jim,

excellent points. YPN is a very big concern to us, as about 20% of the traffic we receive from YPN (and Y!) is from outside the US. Completely usless for our clients and a profit killer for us. If we could remove this 20% YPN could be a big winner for us, but unfortunately that is not possible at this time.

I'm glad to read Sarah stating that tools are being made available, which means to me the issue is on their radar screen. But Jim is right, this is absolutely the wrong approach. Don't request the publishers to enforce your policy. Y! should have the technology in place to force compliance. Site owners don't have the time or technical know how to implement such tools and of course the big offenders will certainly not use the tools.

I know that YSM is working around the clock to get back on track, but with the launch of MSN and success of Google... is it too late?

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Old 03-23-2006   #6
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I have to say that insisting on publishers serving ads to U.S. traffic only is sheer stupidity. I've been a prgrammer for over 20 years, and I write a lot of back-end stuff for sites, but with my current knowledge, I am unable to write anything that could recognise traffic from a particular country. If I can't do it, then almost all website owners can't do it, and insisting that they do so, is insisting on the impossible. Sheer stupidity.
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Old 03-24-2006   #7
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What type of filtering can be done?

Hey Phil, I agree with your comments. Since you have experience in this area what types of filtering are possible? Or what types of technologies are being persued to identify country specific traffic in order to target them?

I guess I'm curious about what stage the industry is at from a technological standpoint.

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Old 03-24-2006   #8
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I don't have any experience in it - that was my point. I've done a lot of serverside stuff, but nothing remotely like that.
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Old 03-25-2006   #9
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It is indeed possible to determine where users come from - it's just not perfectly accurate. A company such as IP2Location have databases for sale that can translate IP-numbers into countries, region, city, latitude & longitude (which is nice if you need locations for your Gmap app) ZIPCodes, ISP and domain.

However, first of all it is not totally accurate and secondly, the FAR majority of webmasters would NOT know how to implement this. And even if they did, it would be completely stupid to do so - this type of ad-serving filtering SHOULD be on the network backend - NOT on the publishers! For Yahoo to request this is, I must say, outright stupid. To me, it sounds more like a "catch all" for Yahoo to kick any publisher out of the program they don't like and can't find any better reason to kick.

I am working on a couple of very large US projects where YPN has been considered. With stupid requests like this, I have to say, Yahoo, that you are now WAY down on the list. Is this really what you want?
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Old 03-25-2006   #10
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Yahoo! does not launch YPN outside US

as far as i know. yahoo! does not launch its service outside US
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Old 03-25-2006   #11
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Quote:
as far as i know. yahoo! does not launch its service outside US
As far as I know they definately will. It would also, i must say, be extremely stupid to leave out the far majority of the world - especially the part that are growing the fastest on the Internet.

The projects I am talking about, however, is US based companies that could very well use YPN - in fact, it is exactly the kind of publishers Yahoo wants to beconme part of their network but with terms as the ones we talk about here we probably will not use YPN. If Yahoo wants to reconsider they have my number ...
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Old 04-11-2006   #12
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Hi All,
As promised, here is the official word to follow up on what I posted a couple weeks ago in regards to traffic and our terms and conditions for publishers:

We have guidelines about publishers not displaying ads to users outside the US because the Yahoo! Publisher Network beta is intended to serve advertisers seeking to reach U.S. customers. Those advertisers pay for traffic from Yahoos network of publishers, and its extremely important to Yahoo! that our advertisers continue to receive the highly targeted leads they have come to expect from us. It is true that much international traffic brings good value to our advertisers, but the US marketplace is the focus of our beta. As Im sure some of you are both advertisers and publishers, you can understand where we are coming from.

We expect to continually enhance and update our various policies and filters, and we will periodically make changes that can impact our marketplace. Recently, we launched an update to our quality management systems (this had been scheduled to launch well before this discussion broke out a couple weeks ago but it makes it that much more timely!). If your site delivers traffic that meets the terms and conditions outlined in our publisher agreement, your account should not be affected by these changes.

Basically, this is to say that well work on it from our end but if you are a participant in the beta and have concerns with these guidelines, contact our customer solutions. I hope this helps and as always I welcome your feedback.

YahooSarah
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Old 04-11-2006   #13
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And the meaning is..?

Can I surmise from YahooSarahs post that Y! will filter out YPN clicks from foreign countries to Overture advertisers that ONLY want US based clicks?

It would be a beautiful day in paradise

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Old 04-11-2006   #14
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YahooSarah, we do understand that Yahoo wants the best possible quality but as far as I hear you, you still expect publishers to do something that is technically NOT possible: To secure that NO users outside the US see the ads served. The fact is that it is NOT possible to do so with 100% accuracy.

As I said I am consulting major US clients that are considering YPN along AdSense and others however, if I do understand these terms correctly I just can't reccomend clients to go with YPN - I never reccomend clients to sign deals they can NOT live up to. In fact, I would reccomend everyone to stay away from YPN untill you adjust your terms to reflect reality.
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Old 04-11-2006   #15
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Sorry, Sarah

But that doesn't appear to be so much of an "update" on Yahoo's part, it's simply a reiteration of the existing policy.

The "will work on it from our end" is a nice touch, though why Y! wouldn't have that in place even before a beta launch is, well, laughable. Y! could have picked up a lot of points and differentiated itself from Google just by listening to its audience and making a solid move. It chose not to. Very, very discouraging.
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Old 05-28-2006   #16
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Geotargeting YPN

Making websites is just hobby of mine. However making some money at least to cover expenses for this hobby is a very attractive idea.

YPNs wave of suspensions scared me a bit. I removed all ads for some time. It took me awhile to learn php and mysql to implement some basic geotargeting.

In the end this tutoral helped a lot:
http://ekstreme.com/geotargeting/

The only potential problem is that database access does slow down page retrieval. I don't know if it will ever create any problems for me, but for some high traffic site that would be bad. The only true solution is for YPN to go global but that is for them to decide if ever and when.

I don't see how is that technically possible to do geotargeting on YPN side. It has to happen on publisher server. Is that right?

Last edited by Freecat : 05-28-2006 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 07-18-2006   #17
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RE: Geotargeting and then some...

"I don't see how is that technically possible to do geotargeting on YPN side. It has to happen on publisher server. Is that right?"

I am a programmer and have implemented some code for my employer in an attempt to continue using Yahoo. It does just what you describe here on the publisher side. We still need more data but so far it appears Yahoo's idea of US traffic and ip-to-country's are completely different. So strike one for the dwindling Yahoo.

Our studies of our log files have shown that they must be "pruning" the clicks on their end already. They began some time in February. It is disturbing since they seem to do it after the fact and they do not offer a way to display anything else in the ad space. So basically they take the traffic and then don't pay you a cent. Unless your sites are just traffic traps this poses a big problem, especially when you find people not returning. Strike two for Yahoo"!".

So we have 1 strike left and that is that we expect to find a correlation between traffic leaving our site and the page impressions/clicks on the Yahoo side. So far it looks grim. Their CTR rates are dismal and the CPMs are ridiculous. I personally have a suspicion that they've gotten a bit greedy, but that's just me. We have a few weeks left on this test but I'm quite certain that they'll be completely off our corporate sites very soon! They got mostly removed back in February.


Finally, get a load out of this excerpt from Yahoo support concerning the issue of showing alternate ads such as Google allows:

"If you feel that the beta program has becomes to disruptive for your webpage, please remove the ad code from your webpage."

Finally, Yahoo suffers from something quite familiar in corporate world called bloat paralysis. Their biggest enhancement in virtually the last year has been a silly blog. At this rate they'll be beta forever!

What they don't know is back in February we spotted them skimming our account revenues and almost simultaneously got a call from Google. Google offered some incentives while Yahoo was skimming us, it was a no brainer. Yahoo now gets only 5% of our traffic and soon will be at 0%. Funny thing is Yahoo called a few days later but it was too late, and they offered nothing. We have held out hope that Yahoo would get out of their slump and actually make something happen, but our revenues have been on a steady decline, apparently because even the advertisers are jumping ship. What do you expect? 12 mos and nothing but a blog to show for it?
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