After giving Google some limited praise last week for the additional reporting stats on their partner networks, I thought it only fair that I balance things by showing how it compares at Yahoo.
And, well, it’s not good!
Not only does Yahoo not allow you to see the stats from the search partner network, they don’t even allow you to opt-out of the partner network! Instead you can block up to 250 domains. Unfortunately the search partners are SO numerous, and SO spammy that it’s like playing whack-a-mole trying to keep up with them.
As we have better and better website analytics reporting all the time, from Google, Webtrends, Omniture and so on, it becomes easier to judge where best to spend your advertising money.
I’ve been using that PPC engine from GoTo, through Overture, up to the present YSM brand, and while things at Google, and even Microsoft AdCenter, have improved, the quality from Yahoo has dropped significantly.
For example, this is from one of our client’s reports from last month:
As you can see, the top referring domain on one day was Shopica.com, which sent over 4 times as much traffic as Google. What do you mean you’ve never heard of them? They’re 4 times as popular as Google.
Unfortunately, as we couldn’t see a single lead, booking, inquiry or anything as a result of that traffic, we put Shopica on the blocked list. However, it takes Yahoo a while to update, so the next day, we got even more visitors from them. And, even more impressively, all the visitors from them came in a one hour period:
No doubt you’ll be surprised to learn that Shopica get a cut of all the ad money that I pay to Yahoo for that traffic. As does Nexplore, who were the next day’s bonus traffic:
Not as impressive, but considering we’re paying around $1.75/click for some of these terms, not to be sniffed at either.
I spoke to my Yahoo Account Manager, who was very polite and understanding, and agreed it was “junk” but said that there wasn’t anything they could do about it. Oh, and no refund either.
What I don’t understand it why doesn’t Yahoo just let us opt out?
Yes, the reach is far greater with all of these sites in the network, but if the end result is a waste of money, people will just stop advertising.
As we learn more and more about the quality of traffic from different sites, it’s hard to justify spending $10,000+ a month (as this client does) on “junk”.
It’s not that we don’t want to use Yahoo, it’s we don’t want to use Yahoo’s partners. Cut them out and we’ll still spend the same amount – only we’ll get more qualified visitors and Yahoo will get to keep more of the money.
Everybody wins, right?