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October 17, 2005

YPN does away with PSAs, introduces Run of Network ads instead

If you have ever had a PSA problem with AdSense, you will be pleased to hear that YPN is no longer running PSAs - otherwise known as Public Service Ads or charity ads - so you no longer have to worry about displaying ads for which you will not earn money for.

YPN introduced Run of Network ads (aka RON ads) on September 9th, when they introduced their ad targeting.

Not having the ability to provide an alternate URL for PSAs (as you can with AdSense) was one of the problems that many of the initial beta testers had, especially when targeting took much longer. But with RON ads, there is no need to have any tools that would be needed if PSAs were still running.

There is not a list of RON advertisers, nor is there an easy way to tell if they are RON advertisers or simply a case of targeting gone awry. But many have speculated that Comcast and Vontage are the most visible of the RON ads.

One problem with RON ads is that they can appear to be a case of ad targeting gone awry, which is what many of us believed was happening. However, Will Johnson of the Yahoo Publisher Network cleared up some of the questions I had surrounding RON ads - such as how to know if ads we are seeing are RON ads, as well as how advertisers could potentially see their ads run ala RON ads on publisher sites.

Is there a list of what these RON ads are (even though I realize it is subject to change)?

There is not a list of RON ads as they do change. They change based upon two factors;

a) Advertiser participation (opting in and opting out) and;

b) Performance of the ads. If the ads do not perform well on a publisher’s page, they will be removed from the list of ads that are served. If they perform well, they will continue to be served.

I find the fact they are tracking performance of the ads interesting. While I do not know how many ads are appearing as RON ads, there is the potential that I have simply not noticed many of them because they have not performed well on my sites. I do have to wonder if Comcast and Vonage are really performing that well on so many different publisher sites, in so many different niches and market areas... although they do have a broad appeal for internet users as a whole.

Now, how would an advertiser start advertising via the RON ads? Will Johnson reported back with the scoop:

Advertisers are currently invited to become a RON advertiser based. Typically they are invited because they have expressed a desire for additional traffic across our network.

This also opens up the possibility that in the future, advertisers could site target ads to appear as RON advertisements on specific publisher sites. So advertisers could potentially target JenSense specifically, similar to how some advertisers target JenSense via AdWords.

It is worth noting that these ads are treated as PSAs in that you are unable to block them from showing, using the "Ad Blocking" feature in your YPN control panel. So if you are trying to block an ad that keeps stubbornly showing up on your sites, chances are good that it is actually one of the RON ads, and not a regularly targeted ad.

Update: You can now block RON ads. There was an apparent bug in the system that prevented blocking of these ads, but now it has been fixed.

Posted by Jenstar at October 17, 2005 07:59 PM

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» YPN does away with PSAs from Visibility Genie
Jen is doing her usual great job of keeping up with new the YPN (Yahoo Publishing Network) features. YPN has never had the ability to publish a backup ad if a PSA (public service ad) appeared. Now, YPN is showing RON (run of network) ads instead. In... [Read More]

Tracked on October 21, 2005 06:51 AM


RON ads can be blocked, contrary to some recent misunderstandings. However, if you are persistently seeing particular RON ads, it's likely to be because they do outperform more narrowly targeted ads on your content. I realize the lack of a list of RON ads, does make it tough for publishers to confirm what's going on, though, and maybe we can work on making that more transparent in the future. I can confirm that Vonage and Comcast are on the list at the moment.

Posted by: Kevin Scaldeferri at October 18, 2005 12:06 AM

I think you mean Vonage, not Vontage.

Posted by: tedder at October 18, 2005 04:23 AM

I can also confirm after working extensively with support for the past few days, that it is possible to use the Ad Blocking feature to block RON ads. There were apparently some bugs with Ad Blocking though that prevented it from updating properly sometimes. That appears to have been resolved.

Posted by: Tim at October 18, 2005 07:51 AM

Hey Jen,

One reason why you might not not have seen RON ads on your site is that you tend to discuss highly monetizable stuff (advertising itself!), so you have lots of high performance targeted ads for your site.

I posted to my blog further explanation:


Posted by: Paul Mineiro at October 18, 2005 10:39 AM

I run YPN on other sites besides JenSense, and have seen RON ads on other sites, including the one I have done YPN vs. AdSense case studies on, www.womens-finance.com

Posted by: Jenstar at October 18, 2005 10:43 AM

ic I was surprised on what the ads were targeting, but somehow the performance overall was really good. So far I'm very happy with YPN.

Posted by: Mike Dammann at November 20, 2005 11:49 AM

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