Angela from the Work at Home Blog has an interesting experience to share with regards to applying to become a part of the Yahoo Publishers Network.
Angela has a number of sites – one of which is called Herpes Help – a site designed to educate and raise awareness around the topic of sexually transmitted diseases. This topic is one that Adsense serves ads to but which on applying to YPN she was told that her topic violated .
Angela followed up her rejection notice and asked for more information and was told that her site was unsuitable due to its ‘sensitive material’.
I’m a little perplexed by Angela’s experience.
As I look over the topics not allowed in YPN’s guidelines I can’t really see what is wrong with her topic. One might argue that the topic is ‘Adult in Nature’ – but as someone who has worked as a youth worker for 10 years I can assure you that STD’s are not just for adults. The only other category that perhaps she ‘violates’ is the one that prohibits ‘Content related to human suffering or death’.
I guess STD’s fall into that category – but I would have thought that due to the educational nature of Angela’s site that this wouldn’t be a problem.
I decided to do a little digging into the Yahoo mega web of sites to see what I could find and was very interested to find that they too have an educational site on – yes you guessed it – Herpes. It is part of their ‘Yahoo Health’ section.
It seems to me that they do accept advertisements on the topic and that they are more than willing to run them on their own sites. I wonder what advertisers would think if they saw YPN rejecting site’s where their message could be shown in a very relevant context?
So the question that I’d like to see the Yahoo Publisher Network answer for us is ‘are they in violation of their own content guidelines?’ Or have they made a mistake with Angela’s application or at least the way in which they processed it and responded to her? The only explanation I can see to this that might be true is that YPN might argue that these advertisers come from a different pool/system to the YPN ones.
There could be merit in this argument – but to me it doesn’t look too good that YPN are in the business of rejecting sites that seem to honestly be trying to be a service to the wider community on an important issue.
What do you think?