I recently tried out Yahoo! Search Marketing (formerly known as Overture) just to see what kind of traffic they could drive to my sites for a minimum buy of $30 dollars a month.
The early results were okay. I averaged 5,000 impressions a day to return my self-imposed budget limit of 3 click-throughs per day (spending around a dollar a day) for a .37 cent bid for the “writing” keyword that would take people to my http://davidboles.com website. 

After a couple of weeks I decided I wanted to add a new Ad for this
blog. I chose the keyword “blog” and bid .43 cents to get the first
position in the Yahoo! Search Marketing return for my dollar-a-day
budget of $30 a month.
All Ads must be approved by Yahoo! Search Marketing before they go live
and that takes up to four business days.

Also, when you set up your Ad,
the “computer editor” may disallow blacklisted words you might want to
place in your Ad. “Coolest” and “Best” and “Greatest” and “Top” were
all rejected by the Yahoo! Search Marketing robot content filter
because my Ad suggested that I was trying to set myself apart by
appearing to be the only choice in the category. Uh, “Duh!” Isn’t that
the point of advertising? If I didn’t offer the best and the coolest
and the greatest stuff that you can’t find anywhere else why would I be
writing this blog and why would you be reading it now?

Since when did
Advertising have to be bland and communal and no one can claim a top
spot above another? Oh, you can claim the top spot in Yahoo! Search
Marketing search returns by paying the highest bid fee, but if you
choose words to claim the top spot you are rejected.
I finally was able to craft a crafty and effective Ad for this blog
that still claimed it was special and unique and I waited for Yahoo!
Search Marketing editorial review to clear my Ad for placement.
Four days later my Ad was rejected.
The reason?
The word “blog” as my keyword “did not apply to the content of the
site” and would mislead visitors.

I’m not going to cut up that idiotic
reasoning here because you know exactly how ignorant and awful that
decision was and it proves Yahoo! Search Marketing has absolutely no
clue how blogs work on and interact with eyes on the internet.
My main complaint about Yahoo! Search Marketing is not that they reject
excellent Ads out-of-hand — that goes without saying and I will say it
again and again — the thing that rakes me is the inability to
immediately appeal stupid decisions with a human being. There is no
option to appeal an editorial rejection. There is no phone number.

There is no email address. There is no contact form. You just sit there
searching for a way, any single way, to find a human being. Yahoo!
Search Marketing offers no human contact and that bad business decision
breeds hard feelings, frustration and a desire for revenge against
wasted time as evidenced in this review.
After four days of searching the Yahoo! Search Marketing site I finally
found, hidden at the bottom of the page in really tiny print, a contact
link. I decided had enough and I just wanted to entirely sever my rocky
relationship. I told them to cancel my account.
I heard nothing back for six days.
I finally received an email — from a human being — who wanted me to
call, at my own expense, to discus the issue of my cancellation.

a long and frustrating 20 minute phone call where I expressed the
thoughts you are reading here, I think my account was cancelled. We’ll see next month if my credit card is charged another $30 or not.
Yahoo! Search Marketing is not for me. Google Advertising
isn’t much better. I think I’ll stick with free self-promotion and
self-search engine submissions because to pay for advertising search services
on the web is to want a prickling experience that only serves to
aggravate and advance the idea that human faces, and not computer
forms, are absolutely required if you want to do well selling services
on the internet.


  1. Thank you for sharing this with us, David. If I heard about the Yahoo! Search Marketing, I quickly dismissed it as another waste of time. Their policy on site submissions has turned me away for good.
    Your story doesn’t surprise me in the least bit. I find it a little too convenient that they make you scour their website to find the contact link. And, to make you pay to talk to them?? They’re sheisters, as far as I’m concerned.
    As an owner of a website and a blog, I have to say that I’ve had more success using Blog Explosion than Google AdWords. At a mere .25 per click, you can pay up to $600 in 30 days for no ROI (return of investment). I’d rather pony up the $60 for 10,000 clicks on BE and have people actually see my blog/website.
    Keep us posted.

  2. Deborah!
    It is nice to have a conversation with someone who not only understands the issue but also knows a better way to a smarter end.
    I’m with you on BlogExplosion. If you don’t want to surf for credits, purchasing them and employing them across the site is the only way to go if you have a blog you are serious about promoting.
    Yahoo! Search Marketing is doing a big direct mail blitz right now so a lot of people might get caught up in the hype. They require a minimum buy-in of $30 a month and that maybe buys you a fourth place spot in a search return three times a day: Not much value there.

  3. You’ll have to fight the competition to keep that fourth place spot, too. It’s the same thing with AdWords. I agree that many people will get caught up in the hype, much to Yahoo!’s gain. 🙁

  4. Yeah, Deborah!
    If you bid higher, your competition will bid higher and the winners are the search engines and not us and not the people who need to search to find us.
    You said it well!

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