Jenstar and Yahoo Publisher Network apparently don’t mix

MySpace has long been a marketing tool and a great way to drive traffic to other sites or advertising. But if you happen to be monetizing with MySpace and using Yahoo Publisher Network, you may get your account suspended, even if you have non-MySpace sites on your account as well.

On Friday, multiple publishers received either phone calls or emails from YPN advising them that their traffic quality was low and their accounts would be suspended as of May 1, 2006. Affected publishers would still receive their earnings – less any invalid or international clicks – so they would not be losing all their income (as usually happens when someone is suspended from AdSense).

For those who received the letter instead of the phone call:

Hello {Publisher Name},

I have attempted to reach you personally to discuss this matter but the phone number we have is invalid.

As part of our efforts to ensure high-quality traffic for advertisers on the Yahoo! Publisher Network, we continuously monitor publisher attributes such as:

1. Sources of their traffic, including its geographical distribution.

2. Suspicious click activity.

3. Advertiser conversion rates.

4. Overall quality of leads generated on your site.

Unfortunately, due to poor traffic quality, we will be terminating your Yahoo! Publisher Network account ID as of end of day, Monday, May 1, 2006. In accordance with Sections 6(a) and 6(b) of the Yahoo! Publisher Network terms and conditions, we will not include clicks from non-U.S. users or otherwise invalid clicks in your payment. We have refunded amounts generated from the non-U.S. users and otherwise invalid clicks to our advertisers and will pay any remaining amount owed to you in accord with the Terms and Conditions.

It has long been known that source of traffic can result in an AdSense suspension, but this is the first time it has been known that either AdSense or YPN has been targeting not only a single specific source of traffic, but also one that is somewhat legitimized as being a true site… as opposed to the “get 20,000 visitors to your site for only $19.99” variety that is usually targeted for being poor quality.

However, this definitely opens up questions about what other sites that YPN will target next? Will all social networking type of sites be targeted? Or was MySpace a notable exception. But it definitely seems that users monetizing MySpace through YPN were definitely targeted, since all were contacted Friday with their accounts being suspended on the following Monday.

But it also raises the question of why these publishers were allowed to keep their ads running for a few days following the decision? Perhaps to do the right thing and allow publishers the opportunity to have a few days to switch over to another program without losing several days of revenue. But it does seem odd that they have decided these sites were not monetizing well for their advertisers, yet they will continue to allow the ads to be run for a few more days.

Also interesting is the fact that this decision was made hot on the heels of the New York Times article about, which was published earlier in the week. One of the things discussed was monetization of MySpace and how the company had tested both Google and YPN ads within the social network.

A sign of that challenge is seen in Mr. Levinsohn’s effort to expand the use of text ads

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19 comments to and Yahoo Publisher Network apparently don’t mix

  • Great posting. The explanation in the letter was “due to poor traffic quality.” Are you certain that all MySpace profiles were dropped or perhaps only some? Is it possible that certain profiles draw high-quality traffic and were kept in the network?

  • Ineresting how Disney thinks MySpace is important enough to create a movie tie-in for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but Yahoo doesn’t.

  • Great insight. Monetizing social network traffic is a conundrum. Compounding the problem are the contextual matching problems AdSense and YPN have w/ blog content. Do you think MySpacer’s simply don’t buy anything while on MySpace? Or perhaps they would buy more if the ads were more contextually relevant?

  • You Can’t Use Yahoo! Publisher and MySpace Together

    If you currently are using Yahoo! Publisher Ads to monetize your MySpace account, you are in jeopardy of having your Yahoo! Publisher account suspended, according to JenSense.Jen also notes that this is the first time that a "true" source of …

  • As an advertiser, I don’t think that I would not want my ads showing up on MySpace. Of course, I am in the insurance market and I don’t see an insurance ad fitting well into the context of MySpace pages.

    Maybe other industries would make a better fit – like dating services and products that target teens and heavy users of social content networks (place your favorite computer geek joke here).

  • YPN Sees MySpace as Evil, Bans Publishers

    Yahoo Publisher Network sent notices out on Friday to a number of publishers on Friday informing them that, as of Monday their YPN accounts would be terminated due to low quality traffic coming from MySpace. Yet another item in my ever-growing reasons…

  • PJ

    Maybe some of these guys thought that they were slick, asking their 20,000+ Myspace friends to click ads, thinking that Yahoo wouldn’t know the difference. Yahoo probably noticed by checking HTTP_REFERER, sorting that by CTR, looking for something strange.

    You have to admit though, it’s silly when a publisher can’t talk about the ads on his own pages. Am I allowed to notice the ads? “Hey, don’t look at the ads on this page!” 😉 The rules of these programs are crazy. With Google for instance, you can’t contact the advertisers, and you can’t click your own ads, even if you think they are interesting.

    In this case, is Yahoo is being too picky? Maybe. Maybe some of these people were plainly cheating? It’s hard to say. I doubt anyone was posting ads directly on Myspace pages.

    Most likely these webmasters were pushing traffic from Myspace with banners. Who knows. Myspace users, like most newbs, are generally uninformed about things. As we know, the first time you explain a click program to anyone, the first response is usually: “I’ll click it 100 times for you and I’ll make you some beer money!” How many times have I had to explain to them? “No, don’t do that or you’ll get me banned from the program!” For years and years we’ll have plenty of ignorant amateurs thinking they will get rich quick by telling their friends to click ads.

    I have a Myspace account and of course I link to my “offsite” domain. Why wouldn’t I? But, I don’t have enough friends on Myspace for Google to notice, or care. I’m lucky to get 5 clicks/day to my Myspace profile, but it’s typical for me to get 5000+ visits to my website.

    Maybe MSN can come up with a better system? The real challenge with these programs is making them foolproof, especially as far as abuse goes.

    I think Adbrite has a good system. The advertiser buys space and takes a calculated risk. The publisher makes money, regardless of the number of clicks or the quality of the traffic. Maybe the advertiser gets lucky and makes a profit, or maybe he doesn’t. Either way, he had a chance, got his name out there, etc. You pay to be seen, even if you don’t get clicked. That’s life. That’s how it should be done. Adbrite also recently turned on a “family friendly” filter for their ads, which I like, otherwise I wouldn’t use it.

    We obviously need better alternatives. As a writer/publisher, it’s not very efficient to chase down and negotiate with advertisers one by one, but it looks like that’s the way to go, at least until these big publisher networks get their act together.

  • So, the implication of the article and the comments is that you have been able to put YPN ads on your MySpace profile – but is this true? I assumed YPN was javascript like Adsense and you can’t use Javascript on MySpace profiles.

    If that is right then I can’t see the connection between the MySpace part and YPN advertisers being suspended. Or are you saying that sites that provide MySpace add-ons such as profile editing, videos, and music are being suspended?

  • John101

    No you dumb idiots! they are opening these “script” sites from ebay and such, that they pay $30 for, and implementing the ads onto such sites. How stupid can you be? How in the world would you be able to intergrate YPN ads into your myspace profile? Holly cow, I think my internal orgnas are about to come out of my nose from laughing.

    Why dont you think “writers” before, you write.
    Thank you! And happy mothers day.

  • On the other hand is rather unintelligent.

    Why don’t they show specific cheap ads for YPN. They don’t have the server power ?

  • The change you all have been waiting for has arrived –… social network advertising made easy – simple and the only one on the block who really gets it. Sign up today and tell your friends about this unique new frontier!

  • Why MySpace Can’t Monetize All Those Eyeballs

    Yahoo has suspended YPN publishers for traffic quality issues because their traffic came from MySpace. Doesn’t say much about the value of MySpace traffic, does it?

  • Tony

    Dave is the only one right here. They are not putting ypn ads directly on the myspace profiles. They have there own domain where they put myspace codes on and tell everyone on there friends list to go to there web site. Which in return leads some to click there ypn ads.

  • jai

    yes ypn ads are not shown on myspace profile…..the ads are shown on the own domain website ” myspace codes” turkey sites which are sold for $20 to $50 in sitepoint and ebay once they buy the site…..they also buy the traffic from few sitepoint members selling traffic like posting bulletin to 50,000 friends for $20 or $50 or getting friends from myspace train sites ( also seen few huge 5000 friends to 50,000+ friends profiles sold ) and the site will get traffic from this type where few clicks to ypn (ads are covered by images and drak color) which ypn calculates as low quality traffic..(Definitely it is)

  • Ross

    My thoughts may be somewhat complex but may be the answer. Although it is lengthy, I do feel it may be the answer Newscorp is looking for.

    See my comment here:

    An ‘incentive’, along the lines of the “Search Vortal” model, may be considered to compliment my solution, too.


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