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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    A heads up on Yahoo possible problem
    On March 20th, a PPC campaign we've run for 4 years on Yahoo suddenly dropped from an average of 17,000 impressions per day to 100 or less. At first I just thought it was weird fluke, so I waited a couple days expecting it would go right back to normal.

    By Friday night it was still the same. I started doing Y searches on our keywords and noted that most of the keywords failed to trigger a search result showing our ad, even though all of our keywords are listed in top 5 positions for that campaign. I called Y Friday afternoon to report the problem.

    The rep confirmed my findings. I also noted that I had an alert from Y stating that I "had no active campaigns running in the account." Yet my admin panel and account status says the campaign is "Active." The rep confirmed that as well. As of tonight, I just go off the phone with yet another rep (because the first rep in true fashion has not followed up) and he confirmed the problem all over again. This is where the "heads up" part comes in....

    In trouble shooting, the rep said that he had entered a number of keywords in which NO search results for anything appeared. That concerned me. I am wondering if anyone else here who is running ppc on Y is noticing a sharp (95%) drop in impressions and clicks since March 20th. I expect to hear from the rep again tomorrow, or the next day, so I'll post what happens, but I'd like to know if anyone is having a similar issue.

    Thanks,

    "@" The artist formerly known as.....

    (psst, it's me, Alan)
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  2. #2
    Full Member Jungleland's Avatar
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    I haven't had the issue (but I'll keep an eye out for it). I did have an issue where I was billed three of four times in about an hours time.

    I ended up having to inactivate my account until I could check with someone on what the issue was. They said they had a problem with billing. No Sh@%!. I could have told them that...
    [B]A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.[/B]

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jungleland
    I haven't had the issue (but I'll keep an eye out for it). I did have an issue where I was billed three of four times in about an hours time. I ended up having to deactivate my account until I could check with someone on what the issue was. They said they had a problem with billing. No Sh@%!. I could have told them that...
    Good point here too. I pointed out to Y that the new panel does not reflect the correct / accurate balance in the account. You have to navigate a couple of things like dashboard, or edit the account info etc, and then come back to the "admin" before it triggers the correct current balance. This has been an issue that has been happening almost since the day the new panel was transitioned. They finally acknowledged Friday night that "yes, that has been a problem." That problem causes accounts to go offline because the advertiser "thinks" there is XXX amount in the account when in fact it is not the correct amount, so watch for that one too gang.

    "@"
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  4. #4
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    I had an entire day where nothing in 4 of my top campaigns showed up. It recovered over the following two days though.
    Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. Online Marketing Blog and Affiliate Management Company
    Do you need help with your Marketing or Sales funneling, write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me

  5. #5
    Newbie ronaldmarva's Avatar
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    I had worked for Yahoo's Customer Support for brief time. Theres a lot of problem with their system that it is causing a lot of pressure to us in Customer Service. I had to jump ship. I think Yahoo is getting bigger and bigger and so is their system bugs.

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Update 3 - 27
    I received an email the evening of 3/27 from support. They said that the ticket is "open" on this. I phoned them to clarify where they are with solving the problem.

    The rep confirmed that there IS a problem on their end that is causing sporadic ommission of ads in SR's. There is also a problem with campaigns showing as active on the advertisers panel, but are intermittently going inactive in their internal system. He confirmed that they are looking at the account balance issue in order to correct the discrepancy with shown balance and true balance.

    BTW, this same kind of thing happened two years ago (minus the balance issue). At the time, they denied that there was any problem, but then three weeks later they emailed advertisers to report that they had resolved a major system bug. To their credit, they issued a partial credit.

    I'm sure they will solve the bug problems, but just wanted to mention the possibility here in case anyone else runs into a similar situation over the next couple weeks.
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  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    March 28, 2007 update....

    Today I received an email from a "tech" at Yahoo telling me to "take two aspirin and call them next week."

    The techy canned reply was that I needed to raise my bids on key terms in order to show up in search results. I called him immediately and asked him why I would have to raise my bids if my key terms were ALL in the top 6 results. Suddenly, he realized that we had a problem. 90% drop in impressions served, 90% corresponding drop in CTR. hmmmm

    Finally, this evening, they called to tell me that THEY have a system problem that is causing problems. He apologized for giving me a "dummy" canned reply and said that they are pursuing the problem, and that it is happening with an increasing number of accounts?

    I expect to hear from them over the next couple days with a more definitive answer. This exact same thing happend two years ago, so I will post updates as I find out what is going on (again). I am confident that they will straighten it out - just like they did (after three weeks) two years ago. In the meantime, just letting everyone know what's up.

    Best - "@"
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  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Update on growing Yahoo problem
    On March 26 I opened this thread to report a problem with ads being displayed on Yahoo. You can reference the original post for details.

    The problem continues, and I've been advised that it is growing. Today, I got the email below from the Y tech who is assigned to our account. They now acknowledge that they are having this problem on an increasing number of Y advertiser accounts.

    The glitch in their ppc system is that ads are not being displayed, and it is especially pronounced on deep market keywords. Note, I did not say theat they are NOT having similar problems on niche keywords; only that it is more predominant on deep KW's.

    Though the admin panel may show KW's positions, ad impressions are not being triggered on many keywords due to the glitch. The "temporary" fix that they have given me is to adjust bids on each keyword every day. When I do that, sure enough, we get a high click volume for "that" day. However, if we do not adjust bids on each keyword the next day, impressions / clicks decrease 95%.

    I've included (below) excerpts from the latest contact I've received from them. If you are doing ppc on Y, and you note that your impressions and / or click volume decrease dramatically, try adjusting bids (even one penny up or down) to trigger your ads. If it does, please let Y know so we keep the heat on them to fix this latest snafu, and of course share your experience with it here so others can benefit. Hope this is helpful.

    Dear Alan,

    I completely understand your frustration. The reason I have not contacted you recently is because there is not much to report from an engineering standpoint. Your concerns (as well as those voiced by other advertisers) are being looked at and actions are being considered. At this time, the only advice I can give you is to continue to operate as you have been to keep your listings displaying. It should be noted that more specific keywords (that are not in deep markets) should not experience these behaviors.

    Once again, I deeply apologize for the inconvenience and respectfully ask for your continued patience while we continue to research these concerns.

    (name edited)
    Technical Services
    Yahoo! Search Marketing
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  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Got another update this afternoon. The update is basically "we hear ya" but nothing to report. Just thought I'd pass it on in case anyone runs into this same snafu.

    Apr 27 2007 15:27 PT

    Dear Alan,

    I understand completely...please know that I'm doing everything I can about advocating this on your behalf but there is only so much I can do. As far as the engineering specifics on what's being done about these concerns, even I am not given that level of transparency. What I can tell you is that this system behavior is on "the radar" and being actively pursued by engineering.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any further assistance. Thank you for choosing Yahoo! Search Marketing!

    (name edited)
    Technical Services
    Yahoo! Search Marketing
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  10. #10
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    i may try joggong my bids to see if that sparks volume... if they won't solve the issue, maybe i'll leverage it...

    has quality / roi remained stable for you with the inceased (or returned to normal?) volume?

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    i may try joggong my bids to see if that sparks volume... if they won't solve the issue, maybe i'll leverage it... has quality / roi remained stable for you with the inceased (or returned to normal?) volume?
    I'd suggest jogging bids to see what happens, yes. The rep mentioned that on keywords in which there is med to high search volume that all campaigns using these KW are affected sporadically. (i.e. sometimes ads come up under given keywords and other times they don't, even though Y might be showing your KW as being in the # 1 - 8 search result position.) But for some reason, engineering found that if you tip the bid a penny one way or another, it "resets" and triggers normal serving of impressions. Problem is, you have to do it every day after 12 am. It's a real pain in the patoot glitch in their system right now.

    By manipulating my bids (even one penny up or down), it triggers an increase of over 98% in ad impressions and clicks. Ex: one of my campaigns had triggered approximately 4,000 -daily impressions and 120 + clicks per day for over two years. Then, suddenly, on March 20th of this year, it dropped to 9 impressions and 1 click. Then 2 impressions and no clicks etc etc. It was not until March 27th that I was able to get to the bottom of it with Y, and a week later before engineering came up with the temp fix suggestion.

    Since then, I've tweaked bids a penny or so up or down each morning, and sure enough I get 120 - 150 clicks and 4,000 + impressions. So there is definitely something wrong. If you recall, I mentioned to you on the Slush Puppie Wednesday that it would be interesting to see what happened that day as I had not been able to tweak bids that morning. Sure enough, Thursday morning, I logged into Y and found that 21 impressions and one click occurred Wednesday. I bumped bids a penny, and yesterday, 142 clicks and over 4,200 impressions.

    As for ROI / Quality since implementing the daily fix, my roi has been in sync with prior results, and the quality of visitors (conversions) have been in line with previous stats.

    I'd be interested in seeing what happens for you when you give em a bump Donuts, so please let me know.
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  12. #12
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Y tech told me to tell the person by the name of "@"

    "take two aspirin and some 5mg of morphine, then call them next week"

    On a serious note, we have not seen the same problem that you are facing. We saw a spike in clicks for a KW by 500 clicks for 1 day which usually gets 4-5 clicks. Nevertheless, we got charged for it.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Yep, I don't have any idea if (or how many) other marketers may be affected by this problem, but nonetheless, it is a problem. As a member of this forum I post the progression of my contact and discussions with Y to inform other members, and hopefully benefit those who may be affected.
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  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    a little progress & possible good news on Yahoo
    I've been continuing to be in touch with Yahoo almost daily now on the system behavior problems they are having. It's documented in this thread for those who may not be aware of the lead up to this post.

    Today, I had more discussion with Y, and I am happy to report the rep informed me that engineering has finally gotten on this behavior problem and that in fact he had a meeting scheduled for 4 pm this afternoon with them to discuss the problem and hear what they have planned to resolve it.

    One of the things that has helped get this escalated is that about a week ago I referred the rep to some links to ABW threads that discuss various thoughts, opinions, and complaints about Yahoo / Overture. He included that information in his meeting request, and subsequently maybe it is one of the factors that got them to prioritize the behavior problem.

    Hopefully they will take some of the posted opinions to heart. In the meantime, during our discussion today, I again asked why they do not offer advertisers the ability to do day parting for campaigns. He informed me that they have not yet announced it, but that they will be announcing "soon" that this capability is being added. Thought I'd pass it along.

    Now let's see how long "soon" is to Y. In the grand scheme of creation, a million years was like the blink of an eye.....
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