If you are running a Yahoo search marketing campaign: you have to read this post. Don’t mean to cause a panic, but this is import folks.

Last month I reported that Yahoo was going to automatically optimize your search marketing campaign without you. Just last Friday I ranted on how Yahoo’s new market reserve price killed one of my campaigns. The hits just keep coming as I unearthed a new, highly-questionable tactic employed by Yahoo: Ad Profiling.

The background: I was doing some research within one of my Yahoo accounts because since July 1 there have been a series decrease in performance. Basically, I was looking to find what I had broken because my performance had taken a nose dive (let’s face it, it happens). I checked my upload history to see what I had uploaded recently that may have caused the change and this is what I found:


Obviously, my curiosity was peaked: what was Yahoo uploading into my account without my consent? I had already opted out of the automated optimizations that Yahoo is now implementing. I called my Yahoo representative and I found out about ad profiling.

Ad Profiling definition: Yahoo will go into your account to pause poorly-performing keywords (keywords with a low click-through rate), insert new ad texts, and make other undetermined changes to your account (Still doing some research on this, but bid changes and keyword insertion may also be part of Profiling). The goal of these actions is increase the click-through rate and spend within your account.

How does Ad Profiling differ from automated optimizations? The goal of the account optimization is to make your account work better and the goal of Ad Profiling is to increase your spend and click-through rate, but their tactics are vaguely similar.

Who implements these changes? The Ad Profiling project is implemented by Yahoo’s account quality team. The automated account optimizations are implemented by the Yahoo editorial team.

However, there is one core difference between the two that you need to be aware of: you can not opt-out of Ad Profiling within your Yahoo account. 

This means that Ad Profiling will be implemented within your Yahoo account without your prior knowledge. And you will not know (unless you specifically ask your account manager) what has been changed within your account. So, please monitor your Yahoo accounts closely as this new system may have already affected your campaigns or it may soon enough.