Yahoo! Publisher Network

september 6, 2005

Over the weekend, I was checking out what people were saying about the Yahoo! Publisher Network. I found this interesting read by Jane Sense, who runs Women's Finance. Jane compares YPN with Google's AdSense. She stays pretty positive about YPN and AdSense, but gives AdSense the win for most of the catagories that she used for her comparison. At first, I was agreeing with her. From what I have seen, the click rates on my site are much lower than when I ran AdSense. The ads, when I check them, were not as relevant as AdSense. And I have not made as much (or little) money as I have when I ran AdSense. And, I was preparing to write a post about all of this when I actually sat down to think about it all. At this point, it is pretty unfair to compare YPN with AdSense. YPN is still in its early beta stages with some 2,000 sites participating (from what I have gleaned, some other sites that run YPN are: Russell's, Jane's, Women's Finance, and Jeremy's). I am sure that with such a small number of sites and the program in beta testing, the inventory of ads available is still probably pretty small. With a small inventory of ads, the relevancy and targetting of ads wilil not be as sharp as in the future when YPN goes live. The great thing about working at Yahoo! is that I can talk directly with the people that handle the products. I did not want to post on my blog about YPN before contacting someone about the relevancy issues that I had seen on my site (a Minidisc page featuring ads for lawyer training CDs and also golf training CDs seemed a bit off to me). After getting some help from Ishi and JR, I was able to find the product manager for YPN. He forwarded my email off to another product manager who has better information and contacts with the engineering staff for some answers about the ad targetting. She has not gotten back to me yet because she is on vacation and will be back tomorrow -- and I probably won't hear from her tomorrow since she'll probably have a stack of emails to sort through. But, I am happy that I was able to contact someone about this. I do think that it will come down to not having the enough ads in the system at this point in the beta testing period to properly match some of the pages that I have -- like an MD page. I'll write more about this later when I hear back from the YPN people. I can't wait until YPN is released. YPN is a great product and will give AdSense a good run for their money. Kudos to the YPN team for putting together a great product.