Taking the Yahoo Publisher Network Plunge
In preparation for the Search Engine Strategies Conference in San Jose where I plan on meeting with the Yahoo Publisher Network staff and representatives, I’ve decided to make YPN the preferred contextual advertising provider for individual posts on Search Engine Journal this week. I’m not sure as to what the exact results will be, and I do plan on publishing a comparison between Google AdSense & Yahoo Publisher Network after the experiment.
Making the commitment to serve only YPN contextual advertisements on this blog for one week has been a tough decision, as from my experience the ads served by Yahoo seem to be relevant to the content on the site as whole; while Google AdSense will show an advertisement relevant to an individual story. I’ve also found that in the past Yahoo will serve these site-relevant ads for a day or two, and then fall back on not-so-relevant ads for Webmaster Services in Spokane, WA or Get Rich Quick eBooks.
Regardless of the relevancy of the advertisements, we are sticking with our guns and giving YPN one week to win us over. This is not a declaration that if Yahoo satisfies our needs as an independent publisher that Search Engine Journal will make the switch from Google AdSense to Yahoo Publisher Network forever, but we are open for surprises.
Others have made the switch in the past and run studies on comparisons between the two services. Darren Rowse of Problogger.net fame comes to mind. Darren’s sticking points go beyond click thru percentages and eCPM, as he found that advertisers were actually buying ads on his site through Google AdSense – a service YPN has not yet launched. There is also the International appeal of AdSense, while YPN is still gearing up for its advertising launches in Japan and the UK.
We plan on looking at the following variables with the comparison between Google AdSense & YPN;
* eCPM – I find this to be much more important than CTR% from a monetization standpoint since if the eCPM is comparable and CTR% is down it means more users are navigating around SEJ than clicking off on ads, or they are clicking onto the advertisements of our private sponsors.
* Relevancy – Although money is the bottom line (heck, this is a business site), we would rather bring in advertising revenue from advertisers who are somewhat related to the Search Engine industry and not from Vonage or LowerMyBills.com ads.
* Reporting, Ad Blocking and Communications – If, and if the time comes to block ads or report to customer service on ad serving problems (not an issue with Google), turnaround and communications will play an important part in this experiment. As stated previously, such communication is not an issue with Google, so YPN already has a big pair of shoes to fill. Let’s hope they can do it.
Not off to such a good start YPN:
And from now on, one week of contextual advertising on Search Engine Journal from Yahoo Publisher Network. By the way, Yahoo already has the upper hand on t-shirts and travel bags which have come in very handy over the past 3 months, along with an awesome public relations crew.