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Yahoo Is Stealing Your Money

December 9, 2008 – 8:08 am

Yahoo Sponsored Search emailed me the email below.  They are basically saying they went into my Yahoo paid search account and made changes to it.  After they made the changes (that is my main complaint), they emailed me about the changes and informed me about their new program.

They added a couple of new ads and new campaigns (with new budgets).  One of the ads had a promotion code in it.  That code expires.  Were they going to keep checking when the code expired and then pause the ad or leave it running so people would click and not buy because the promo was over (either way, Yahoo gets paid).

So, what new program? The program where Yahoo goes into customers accounts:

1. Not knowing conversion data so they do not know which terms are actually generating income and which are not
2. Not knowing the products, margins, or inventory of the products you are selling
3. Yahoo tries to increase clicks, increasing my costs, and generating more revenue for Yahoo – Huge conflict of interest!
4. Plays with the account owners money without prior approval
5. Not knowing any restrictions that the account owner may have with merchants and manufacturers as far as terms they are allowed to use for ad copy or bid placement restrictions.

What would be the difference if I had money in a bank savings account and a bank stock broker, that I do not know, went into my savings account and bought some stock, using that money, without knowing my investment portfolio, diversification needs or retirement goals.  Then after he bought the stock, emails me and to tell me what they did with MY money.

I would like to hear from others and your feelings about this new program.  Here is the email:
Yahoo! is committed to the success of account “account name” and we believe there is an opportunity to provide you with improved performance.

To help you save time and get the most out of your campaigns, we are launching a new automatic account optimization program. It’s intended to help raise the performance of accounts that are experiencing issues like low quality scores, low lead volume or low click-through rates.

And the best part is, we will do the work for you: Our content developers will use their search advertising experience to help your marketing dollars go further.

What we will keep an eye out for:
-    Search ads with low click-through rates relative to competitors
-    Ad testing not in use? missing an opportunity to optimize ad copy
-    Ad groups that have a quality index score of 2 or lower

How we can help:
-    Create new ads for existing ad groups, enabling ad testing
-    Write multiple versions of ads for any new ad groups we create, enabling the use of ad testing to help ensure that the best-performing ads are displayed more often
-    Search our database for keywords that can drive more targeted traffic to your site

In short, our goal is to make sure that your account is firing on all cylinders–and do this while keeping your existing keywords and without exceeding your spending limits!

As always, you are in control of your account. If we make any optimization changes to your account through this program, we will notify you by email, and you can let us know whether the account changes are positively affecting your account. Also, you are welcome to contact your account manager to review, edit or ask us to reverse any of the changes. Finally, if you do not wish to participate in this program, you may opt out by contacting your account manager.

We’ve identified keywords and ads in your account that are significantly underperforming, and we’ve initiated the changes to the creatives that you will find attached.

We are very excited about this new program, and hope it will provide you with improved performance and a higher level of service. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
I highly recommend everyone immediately contacts their account manager, or clicks the contact link in their account, and lets Yahoo know that you do not want to be part of this program.

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  1. 26 Responses to “Yahoo Is Stealing Your Money”

  2. Just received this email reply from Yahoo.

    “We apologize for any inconvenience the automatic account update has caused you. Per your request, we’ve opted your account out of any future automatic keyword and creative additions. We are sorry that this program did not work out for you, but we have seen beneficial results for our advertisers and hoped that we would be able to improve the performance of your account.

    Nonetheless, you may take advantage of our content development services at any time if you would like us to create keywords or ads for your account. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or comments.”

    Still boggles my mind “we’ve opted your account out of any future automatic keyword and creative additions.” Without permission or knowing my goals and objectives? Craziness!

    By Al Scillitani on Dec 10, 2008

  3. Received another email from Yahoo. Here it is:

    “We attempted to reach you at the number on file to clarify your request however we were unable to do so. We were hoping to get more details as to why you would not want this valuable service. In addition we wanted to confirm that we had received your request that we not make any optimization changes in the future, we will note this in your record and make every effort to not optimize your account at a future date.”

    HUH? “make every effort?” What the…???

    Marketing Pilgrim has been active with comments as well. Feel free to visit for the latest conversation regarding this topic

    http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2008/12/is-yahoo-search-marketing-stealing-your-money.html

    By Al Scillitani on Dec 10, 2008

  4. Wow! that is SHADY. What is Yahoo thinking?

    By Jason Peck on Dec 12, 2008

  5. Update:
    Yahoo sent out their new Terms and Conditions yesterday. Make sure you read paragraph 3 under sponsered search VERY closely.
    In the New Yahoo T&C’s I just received in my inbox, they write..

    http://info.yahoo.com/legal/us/yahoo/advertising/masterterms/masterterms-322.html?mkt=us

    Sponsored Search
    3. OPTIMIZATION. In the U.S. only, for those advertisers not bound by an
    Insertion Order, we may help you optimize your account(s).
    Accordingly, you expressly agree that we may also: (i) create ads,
    (ii) add and/or remove keywords, and/or (iii) optimize your
    account(s). We will notify you via email of such changes made to your
    account(s), and can also include a spreadsheet of such changes upon
    your written request. If you would like any of such changes reversed,
    please reply to such email within 14 days of the change(s), and we
    will make commercially reasonable efforts to reverse the change(s) you
    specifically identify. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you remain
    responsible for all changes made to your account(s), including all
    click charges incurred prior to any reversions being made. It is your
    responsibility to monitor your account(s) and to ensure that your
    account settings are consistent with your business objectives.

    By Al Scillitani on Jan 6, 2009

  6. Update:
    Yahoo added a reply to some of the feedback they have been getting from their new program. I guess they still dont get what the problem is?
    http://www.ysmblog.com/blog/2009/01/27/account-optimizations/

    http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/090128-103606

    http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2009/01/yo-yahoo-the-truth-is-your-search-marketing-changes-suck.html

    By Al Scillitani on Jan 28, 2009

  7. Your article is very informative and useful. Glad I found it. Cheers.

    By Marketing on Jan 29, 2009

  8. I made a Google knol about this, which may make Yahoo take more notice:
    http://knol.google.com/k/frank-paolino/yahoo-slams-search-marketing/2k2bnj37wxlun/1#

    By Frank Paolino on Feb 2, 2009

  9. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.

    By Technology News on Apr 13, 2009

  10. thanks for the info on this page. I found it interesting.

    By garry on Apr 17, 2009

  11. I’ve learned a lot from this site – I hope you continue writing because I love your stuff!

    By P. Smith on Jun 4, 2009

  12. You are right in what you have said. I was only thinking this the other day but I think I will now dig a little deeper. Not sure what the last guy meant though!

    By Rich Like Us on Dec 2, 2009

  13. I would name your blog the dreamland! While Santa knocks at our door just once per year, you blog is open the whole year – wow! Thank you.

    By Birdie Dimartino on Apr 18, 2010

  14. Maybe you should change the page name title Yahoo Is Stealing Your Money to something more suited for your subject you make. I liked the post still.

    By Seasons on Oct 29, 2010

  15. I think the title is fairly accurate. They changed their policies which changed my monthly billings from $200 to $2,500. That’s a 10x increase. If that isn’t “stealing” I don’t know what is? BTW, my business didn’t show any improvement because they used search terms that were irrelevant to my business!

    By Frank Paolino on Oct 30, 2010

  16. You certainly have some agreeable opinions and views. Your blog provides a fresh look at the subject.

    By Poenseeffepay on Jul 20, 2011

  17. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.

    By ALHRICK BURGTUN on Jul 21, 2011

  1. 10 Trackback(s)

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