Hot on the heels of the news that Yahoo Publisher Network suspended multiple publishers who were generating their traffic via MySpace, due to poor quality of traffic, comes a new posting on the YPN Blog about maintaining a quality network.
As noted on certain message boards, some publisher accounts have been recently closed. These account closures were based solely on traffic quality issues.
Yahoo! Publisher Network is still an invite-only beta program. As such, we’re constantly refining the procedures and policies that will help maintain a quality network for our publishers and advertisers. And we won’t release the product to the general publishing community until we are able to serve our constituent’s needs well.
This is a learning experience for everyone, one of the main concerns for our 100,000-plus advertisers who participate is the quality of traffic they receive. For advertisers, we need to consider the source of traffic, the site content, click activity, and the overall quality of leads generated for our advertisers.
As publishers you are also concerned with quality – the quality and relevance of the ads you receive and how well they monetize on your sites.
While not really surprising, it does make publishers aware that yes, YPN will suspend publishers with less-than-quality traffic, following in the footsteps of Google AdSense who have been suspending publishers for poor quality traffic for quite some time now.
They also make a specific note that site content plays a role in the decision of whether or not this is a quality YPN network or not. So it does make me wonder if we might see more suspensions targeting the on-page content quality as well. This might make those monetizing with scraper sites a bit wary of how YPN views those types of sites in the overall picture of quality networks.
So in maintaining a quality network, what kind of traffic sources should you avoid?
- Anything that guarantees “30,000 real visitors for only $19.99”
- Any paid-to-surf programs
- Homepage traffic exchange programs (you set your homepage to a URL which will load a different member’s webpage into your homepage each time, and you get credited for each page view which will allow your page to be seen by others in the same manner OR that you pay for homepage impressions)
- Any program that provides incentives to click
On some level, it comes down to using your common sense. If you stop and think “Hmmm, I wonder if Yahoo and/or AdSense would like this?”, chances are pretty good that they probably won’t and you should avoid that particular traffic source. Because AdSense – and now YPN – do not seem to warn publishers first about poor traffic, but instead go straight to the suspensions, you should definitely be wary of the methods you are using to generate your traffic, particularly if you think it might be a little bit “iffy” and you value your publisher account.
YPN’s public posting about this issue on the blog can also serve as a mass warning to publishers who may be using these methods to clean up their acts before the next round of suspensions is handed out.
If you aren’t sure if your traffic source is a legit one or not, feel free to ask about it in the comments here, contact AdSense/YPN directly or ask on one of the many forums.