Yahoo! Publisher Network: Superb Support, Crappy Programmers

I’ve started using the Yahoo! Publisher Network again, after dropping them completely for a year. Actually, looking back on my payment history now, I actually did fairly well with them.

YPN Payment Report

I earned $747.90 in December 2005, and it went down from there as I started using AdSense instead. Although AdSense earned more, that’s not the real reason why I switched completely. The real reason was that Yahoo!’s programmers suck.

Here’s why:

  • Yahoo! Publisher Network’s stats are always delayed at least 24 hours.
  • 24 hours is an eternity in Internet time.
  • YPN’s reporting tools are the bare minimum.
  • YPN’s color palettes have boring names and have not been tested.
  • YPN’s reporting “categories” take a long time to set up.
  • They don’t put the category name in the ad code, so it’s hard to track them unless you write your own comments.

Don’t underestimate the importance of these points. Google is doing so well not because of good search, but because of good ads. Ads make the money. Ads pay for everything at Google, and they do ads right:

  • Google AdSense gives you up-to-date stats throughout the day.
  • AdSense gives you powerful reporting tools.
  • AdSense allows you to easily and quickly choose different color schemes.
  • AdSense allows you to effectively compare performance between various reporting “channels.”

Today, I called YPN and talked with Chris Dupont, a very friendly “publisher advocate.” He informed me that they do not recommend modifying the ad code because of the potential for errors, which is understandable. He submitted for me the above feedback: the importance of getting updated stats and having more effective color palette testing.

He also told me that, unfortunately, he has no idea when the developers plan to put in these much-needed features. Additionally, while he can submit the feedback for me, there is no way to get any kind of response back from them. While the Support for YPN is good, I feel like we’re all at the mercy of the developers. There’s a huge amount of revenue Yahoo! is surely missing out on here, but there seems to be simply nobody working on it.

2 Responses to “Yahoo! Publisher Network: Superb Support, Crappy Programmers”

  1. […] wrote an interesting post today on Yahoo! Publisher Network: Superb Support, Crappy ProgrammersHere’s a quick […]

  2. Michael says:

    Where there is a need, there is also an opportunity. If someone had the guts to challenge Yahoo on this issue and convince them of a plan to fix this – it could lead to a position in their management.

    Makes you wonder if they already know but just unwilling to apply the resources.

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