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Beware of Yahoo Search Marketing

I had not used Yahoo Paid Search for some time, but I recently signed up for a new account based on a promo offer that I received. Anytime anyone wants to offer me free traffic, I am all ears.

I paid my $5.00 activation fee and got free credit ($30) on my account. Here is where the problem came in. I had set my daily spend to $10 per day for a certain campaign and had just under $30 in the account after a few days (I was taking it slowly). I then received an email saying that I had been charged $30 to add funds to my account. I was told that if I wanted to reduce the frequency of these messages and charges to increase my charge amount.

Here is my problem with this. Unless you write to them and change this, you are not in a position to now be able to stop the charges because every time the account gets below three days worth of charges, your credit card will automatically be billed. Sure, you can turn the account off, but they still have your money.

I don’t recall if there was a prepay-deposit feature when I set the account up, but if there is, this would be the option to choose if you want to control your spending. I am just glad I didn’t set my daily limit to $100, or I would have been charged $300.

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2 Responses to “Beware of Yahoo Search Marketing”

  • Don:

    Good point: “I am just glad I didn’t set my daily limit to $100, or I would have been charged $300.” I had a similar problem with YSM last year.

    Ever since switching to Panama, YSM accounts have been more difficult to manage. The controls, IMHO, are not as intuitive or easy to work as AdWords’. Even Microsoft AdCenter has improved their execrable interface over the past year or so, but Panama remains exactly what it is.

  • oldschool:

    @ Don – I agree, Yahoo and MSN are far inferior interfaces. Another peeve I have with YSM is that it assumes that people in the US are trying to get customers in Canada. Don, you know first hand, that I love Canada more than the average American, but I think it’s ridiculous to have US and Canada as a “multi-region default”;’ it just doesn’t make sense. If you want to market to the Us, you have to choose North America then un-check each individual province in Canada (I don’t even see an global Canda check/uncheck feature.

    My latest problem with AdCenter was ads not being approved due to “foreign language” on a US based site that was all written in English. The AdCenter rep who was very helpful, said she had never seen that either and she helped to resolve it.

    Neither company makes it as simple for you to give them your money as Google does which might explain why Google’s stock is worth exponentially more. If Yahoo and MSN merge, I fear that it won’t get better because more isn’t always better if neither is doing the job well.

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