By Chris Beasley

Introducing Yahoo Publisher Network

By Chris Beasley

This isn’t exactly breaking news anymore. I decided a while ago that one of my first posts on this blog would be about Yahoo’s new publisher network. Unfortunately it took longer than I expected to get this blog up and going. I’m sure that by now many of you are already familiar with YPN, but I thought I’d go ahead with this anyway as its hard to find a bigger web publishing news story than Yahoo getting into the Ad Network game.

Yahoo Publisher Network, found here is actually still in beta, but don’t let that stop you from signing up. If you’re familiar with Google Adsense then you pretty much know what to expect with YPN. Like Google, YPN analyzes your content and then serves appropriate ads based on your content, or that’s the plan anyways. In actuality I’ve found that YPN’s targeting is abysmal. The ads served when I ran my tests were barely related to my content at all, and some were completely unrelated scummy sounding MLM ads (think pyramid schemes).

The upside to all of this is that Yahoo’s per click payout rates are far superior to Google’s. This could be for a couple reasons, for instance Google allows advertisers to pay lower rates to Adsense publishers than for normal AdWords placements you’ll find on search result pages, Yahoo is not yet doing this. Also Google’s Adwords program has a lower minimum cost per click than Yahoo’s Search Marketing program (formerly known as Overture).

In the end though what you get is fewer clicks, but more money per click, leaving you with about the same revenue from less desirable ads.

I could see it being possible that if you had an ad unit that received a high CTR, such as a rectangle ad encompassed by content, that you might earn more with YPN than with Adsense, simply by the virtue of the placement. Also, Yahoo allows up to 4 units per page, whereas Google only allows 3, so if you actually have room for 4 units you might be able to increase your revenue by switching to Yahoo. I should note however that what you cannot do is show 3 Google ads per page and then another 1-4 Yahoo ads as you’d be breaking the network terms. You must pick one or the other and cannot show Google ads on the same page as Yahoo ads.

Yahoo also has a feature called Ad Targeting that Google does not have. This feature allows you to categorize your site in hopes of improving the relevancy of the ads displayed. Unfortunately in my tests it didn’t seem to work, and the categories you have available to choose from are not that encompassing anyways, they’re pretty generic. For instance there wasn’t a category for “Web Development” as I recall, just one for “Internet.” Google’s unpublished private feature called Google Hints works far better.

Other than the issues already mentioned the service is more or less a clone of Google Adsense. You have plenty of options for unit size, and can easily customize the colors. Payment terms are roughly the same as well.

Overall it’s worth your time to at the least test out Yahoo and see if it earns more for you than Google does. Also if Yahoo can improve their targetting while maintaining their payouts I think many people will end up defecting from Adsense to YPN.

  • Interesting… I wasn’t aware that anyone could just sign up. I thought it was for beta testers only. A lot of the 9rules bloggers use Yahoo for their ads. I did notice that some ads were irrelevant to the content dispalyed on sites, but for the most part, it seemed ok.

  • It did take a while even for Y! employees to get their hands on the beta version as well. Don’t feel left out all those who haven’t received an account yet…

  • Too bad it is just for U.S. publishers currently..

  • Let’s hope they get out of beta soon and start accepting non U.S. publishers

  • hiker

    I like the idea of this blog but once again, it needs editing before publishing.

  • I’ve had a lot better success with YPN, mainly because the payout rate is so much higher.

  • WebDevGuy

    When you say you’ve had success – can you translate that into $$ somehow?

  • One thing I do like over the Y!PN is you have much more customizability than the standard google layouts… meaning there is more css control than the set widths that google provides.

  • It took me a couple of weeks to get accepted – I’m still testing it out – but so far, I’ll agree, the ads aren’t nearly as relevent as Google’s.

  • wildscribe

    I am just glad to see another company get into the ad network business. It would be awesome if Yahoo and Google get into a price war. Competition is good!

  • chris ward

    Google’s unpublished private feature called Google Hints works far better.

    So i’m left wondering how I hint to google that my site is about ‘webcam chatrooms’ and not ‘buy a webcam’

  • So i’m left wondering how I hint to google that my site is about ‘webcam chatrooms’ and not ‘buy a webcam’

    None of your visitors/users need to purchase a webcam?

    If your reports show that the click through on the webcam ads are negligable then you could always filter them out

  • Some do, but I considered the reality of people clicking through to make a purchase is probably alot less than when people arrive to the site intending to chat.

    There’s a bit of a flip-side to this of course…
    Making more money from the adverts isnt necessarily a good thing, as I have to understand that when they click the adverts, they’re actually bored with my site and want to leave.

  • Alan Moreton

    I am just about ready to add Advertising to my site so I was very interested to read this strategies blog about YPN. I will probably start with Google as I want the ads to be targeted. When Yahoo get their act together then I may consider switching.

    Alan from http://www.mastermind-strategies.com

  • Glad to know that YPN exists now. As said before, competition is good.

    I think that it is reasonable to simultaneously test both networks on the same page and gather results (for instance, visitor #1 sees AdSense, visitor # 2 sees YPN, # 3 sees AdSense, etc..). This way each of us could gather income stats and determine which network pays more in his particular case. Dunno if it is possible and doesn’t violate the networks rules… Maybe someone can shed some light on this?

    Also I guess the next turn is for Microsoft.
    I can’t wait to see ads arising here and there all over my work pc.

  • What does US Publishers mean? I log onto the net with a South African IP but my website is US based with regards to hosting and traffic..

    Very good article.. Im not to familiar with Adsense concept so this cleared up alot of questions..


  • Ive spoken to a few webmasters incl the guys from imageshack.us and they confirmed that Yahoo! does indeed pay out alot more..

  • Pingback: Google Reader won’t show my Yahoo! ads!()

  • ColdCarl

    I’ve tried to get my site approved on yahoo publisher network.
    Does anyone have advise?

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