As Loren writes at SEJ Yahoo! Publishing Network (YPN) has invited another 1000 beta testers to join the network including b5media. Jeremy and I have started implementing the code around the place to see what happens but as always I thought I might share a few initial thoughts on the service.
I guess I was expecting to see something like Adsense and I was totally surprised. The layout of the program is clean and a totally different to Adsense. The initial screen is somewhat sparse and consists of various content and informational boxes.
An interesting variety of reporting options, but I’ve got one gripe straight away, and that’s that the reporting doesn’t seem to be in real time like Adsense. I know its a small thing but I login to Adsense probably 5-10 times a day to see how the stats are doing. The FAQ for YPN indicates that the days figures are available the following “business day”. Otherwise the reporting options are ok.
The next tab along the top bar and this is one feature that Yahoo has definitely gotten right and its a whole lot easier to use than the Google equivalent. Everything you need is nearly displayed above the fold of the page (you can get the full lot in with a small scroll down) including channel creation and selection, color choices (they’ve got a great range of predefined colors), instant preview and code. Its really a whole lot easier and quicker that Google’s Adsense. The interesting option is the Ad targeting feaure. YPN allows you to pick a category for your ads on your site. You don’t have to use it (from what I can gather) but it helps deliver on target advertising to your site that bit quicker. Like Adsense, YPN also features the ability to block ads from certain advertisers as well.
Content setup allows you to add other Yahoo! stuff on your site, like maps, Y!Q search and the Add to My Yahoo! button. Nothing to exciting but nifty none the less. Certainly Google could learn from these methods of cross promotion. Of course, last but not least is that everything I’ve described above they also offer, as standard, for RSS ads as well. I’m tempted to give them a go just to see what happens, but I won’t be doing it at The Blog Herald.
This is a beta test, and hence any overall assessment must be made with this in mind. So far the ads being served don’t look very exciting, but I’ll know with time if they work or not. There is obviously still a bit of work to be done, like live reporting, Adlinks and what not, but for a beta it really has a good feel about it. I’ll be reporting in a couple of days how the stats are holding up in comparison to Google as well.