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Yahoo Publisher Network Terminates More Publisher Accounts

This morning I’ve had an email from a very disgruntled YPN publisher who has received a phone call from YPN saying that their account has been terminated because they have used MySpace to send traffic to their ‘legitimate’ website which has YPN. The thrust of the reason given to them for the termination was that the traffic being sent was not of a ‘high enough quality’.

Looking at the forums on the topic it seems that this publisher is not alone.

This could be a second round of such terminations. A couple of months ago I reported a batch of publishers having their accounts terminated for having too much international traffic.

update: Jen has more comprehensive news of this development with some interesting commentary at MySpace.com and Yahoo Publisher Network apparently don’t mix

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Should I be worried if I am using adsense on my site and using Myspace to generate some traffic?

  2. I certainly have made a huge stink over MySpace (despite lots of folks seeing dollar signs when thinking about the ripe young marketing landscape) and obviously my concerns were there for good reason. Dance with the devil and be burned in the end.

  3. that is something I can’t really answer but as Jen says in her post, it’s going to be fascinating to see where it all leads!

  4. YPN made a good decision here. The traffic from MySpace is terrible — anti-corporate hippie kids who have nothing better to do than click things.

    I was once linked to from MySpace and I asked the guy to pull the link. I didn’t want the traffic. I watch my traffic very close, and if it drops below 4-5 page views per visitor, I pull my ads. If they’re not staying a while (on average), they’re not interested, which means they definitely don’t care about the advertisers who have put good money into my pocket. Last week I dipped to 3.9 page views per visitor, so I pulled the ads. Monday morning it popped up to 4.2 and I re-enacted them.

    If your site is making big bucks, get advertisers directly. If they don’t want to advertise because your high traffic site is low quality readers with no interest in anything but leaving your site, don’t be surprised that you lose YPN (and likely AS in the future). I’m glad these guys are pulling ads from high traffic sites that don’t do anything but generate clicks. What a waste of money it is for me to advertise on useless sites.

  5. […] Darren Rowse of Problogger.net writes that YPN’s quality control team is cutting loose the MySpace traffic dependent websites from their contextual advertising network : This morning I’ve had an email from a very disgruntled YPN publisher who has received a phone call from YPN saying that their account has been terminated because they have used MySpace to send traffic to their ‘legitimate’ website which has YPN. The thrust of the reason given to them for the termination was that the traffic being sent was not of a ‘high enough quality’. […]

  6. Does YPN not have an equivalent of AdSense’s Smart Pricing? Wouldn’t that take care of poor quality traffic i.e. let it come and click but lower the cost to advertisers (and payout to publishers obviously) if it’s actually useless traffic?

    While I understand protecting advertisers, terminating accounts seems unnecessarily drastic.

  7. While not related to MySpace, Yahoo also recently deleted some YahooGroups without notification. Here is the story:


  8. Somehow I wonder if we’re hearing the whole story. “Low Quality traffic” is the reason they gave and it could mean something else.

  9. This is interesting considering at DP many MySpace site owners were jumping ship from AdSense in favor of YPN because they say the eCPM at Yahoo was so much better. I think Yahoo is going to try to one-up Google when it comes to publisher advertising. When they roll out their full version of YPN I see it being much more strict regarding content and site approval as well as the source of traffic than AdSense is currently.

  10. I don’t know how it would be traceable, but is this to do with web site owners setting up their own pages elsewhere, or about others linking to a page.

    If the latter, this has huge implications for networks and for those being linked to by splogs. Pretty worrying – but pretty stupid on YPN’s part as well – it certainly doesn’t encourage me to pursue a relationship with them.

  11. I wonder if it would be prudent to check the referrer on incoming traffic and not display AdSense or YPN ads if it’s MySpace traffic?

  12. Sounds crazy to me, how are we to control exactly who and where from we are linked? Maybe someone, who has a group of friends all love your site and link to it from MySpace or something similar, we have no control over this! and should not be punished for having a popular site.

    This is no reason for account termination, if it is simply not from a fault of your own!, and yes a smart pricing equivalent should take care of that.

    Darren, are you worried about your MySpace account now? lol

  13. lol – forgot I had one :-)

  14. A good point is raised about how YPN knows where traffic is coming but I’m sure their javascript sends referer info on. Also, if I’m understanding the spirit of the law here, I’m thinking that this is geared toward publishers who specifically leverage MySpace to drive traffic… not publishers who are simply linked to by MySpace. But I could be wrong.

  15. I have been hoping that YPN could evolve into a creditable competitor for Adsense. Yet again, like the fiasco with terminating publishers for having too many non-US visitors, this once again shows that the senior leadership of the YPN is completely unaware of how the internet works. Site publishers, bloggers or otherwise, build sites (content) and hold them out for the rest of the internet to view or not view. It is the surfer who controls what site(s) s/he visits, not the owners of the sites that are visited. Would that I controlled who visited ;-)

    The person who builds a highway doesn’t control the make of car that chooses to travel that highway, or the income level of the car’s driver. This seems as simple as to be not worthy of writing down, but it’s difficult to believe that a company with the resources and Net-savvy of Yahoo would make such basic mistakes in comprehending the underlying theory of how the Web operates. As was mentioned earlier with the Value Pricing example, YPN can easily control what income a site owner receives from MySpace visitors and shape their market/profit by legitimate business action, not by singling out individual publishers who may, or may not, have control of what is sending visitors to their site.

    Just seems to prove my otherwise ‘shoot from the hip’ conjecture that once a company reaches a certain size and capitalization the knowledge of the technology which grew them flies out the window to be replaced by management theory which ignores reality … good luck to them in building a viable program, but as of now, they don’t seem to be on track.

  16. […] Yahoo Publishers Network (YPN) has recently closed the door on a publisher who was recieving traffic from MySpace according to an article published by Darren Rowse on Problogger.net. MySpace has long been in the news for things such as a large problem with pedophiles stalking people through their website but this is the first that I have heard of this problem. One of the main problems with MySpace is that kids will go on and click through to websites when they are bored. Since the clickers are not actually interested in the site and just in finding something to keep them interested, the web visits usually do not last for too long. While some of the clickthroughs were gotten through these MySpace clickers, not all of the clicks on Yahoo ads came from the site, which leads me to the question, when does a search engine go too far? What is considered a ‘legal’ clickthrough? […]

  17. I’m not suprised. YPN has to protect it’s advertisers. You can always reapply or sell ads yourself.

    You can’t claim ignorance and enjoy someone’s hard earned money.

    If a link comes from MySpace, don’t show YPN or Adsense ads on it. Use PHP or ASP to determine the refer of the user. It sucks indeed but that’s what you have to do if you want to protect your advertisers.

  18. But on the other hand. Why not show specific cheap ads for MySpace refered users ?

  19. That just plain sucks. Just because it’s easy to generate traffic thru MySpace doesn’t make it wrong.

  20. […] They have started calling those (and sending E-Mails to invalid phone numbers), as we can see in a DigitalPoint Forums Thread. Yahoo! is doing something that Google is not offering for the webmasters using their PPC Program, Google AdWords. Yahoo! Publisher Network is filtering out the bad traffic and MySpace has become their first victim. MySpace has over billions of active users. Recently, the online business industry started moving in on MySpace to help bring traffic to their websites. As Darren Rowse talks about on Problogger, this is not the first time it has happened. In fact, Problogger itself has claimed that nearly 2 months ago YPN banned certain Publishers for non-U.S. traffic. […]

  21. Yahoo! honestly needs to cancel a lot more accounts.

    Yesterday I tried to complain about a site that had 10 blocks of YPN ads, 8 of which were deceitfully burried in and as content.

    The only way I could find to notify Yahoo! other than their generic unmanned auto-responder “support” was through the YPN blog.

    24 hours later they’ve not responded to email, my blog comment (#2 of 2 comments so not exactly lost) and the site is still disguising ads as content.

    Going back even further, I reported whios.sc (not whois, it’s a typo domain) because they had YPN next to Adsense. Google shut their account down, YPN appears to condone ad scam and spam.

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