Tried to sign up for YSM

I don’t play with AdWords or MSN advertising, but I think it’s good to try to stay aware of that side of things. So when Shoemoney posted about a $100 coupon for Yahoo Search Marketing (YSM) this morning, I figured it was time to try out YSM. I showed up and they had a six-page signup. It reminded of the line from the Rodney Dangerfield movie Old School Back to School: “I have only one question for Mr. Melon, in 43 parts.” But I waded through it all, down to the sixth page, which was a required survey. I hit submit and it took me back to page five, with this screen:

Sign up error

So my first YSM experience was “There was an internal error. Please try again later.” I guess I won’t let Yahoo give me $100 of free advertising after all. 🙂 My favorite was a commenter on Shoemoney’s original post though:

Comment by kari
2006-10-13 10:33:11

This is so hot. I have never seen yahoo have a 100$ coupon. Just made 2 accounts. Free 200$!

Still working as of 15 minutes ago

Multiple accounts? Not cool, kari. You probably took the $100 Yahoo was going to give me, and that’s why I got an internal error! Then again, it is Friday the 13th, so maybe it’s just bad luck on my part.

43 Responses to Tried to sign up for YSM (Leave a comment)

  1. Great point. I think one of areas where Google really shines has been to make signups (e.g. gmail, picasa) easy, painless, even fun. MS is the worst offender in this game.
    But maybe you just triggered the “Google Spy Alert” filter system?

  2. Matt-

    What sort of crazy ads are we going to see in YSM for ?!1?

  3. Do you do a lot of search marketing, Matt? What other sites do you own, (if you dont mind me asking)?

  4. Yahoo listings had been broken for the most part of the week. When you would log in you would see errors displayed on the page and a message from Yahoo saying they were aware the listing system was broken. Glad to see they got it fixed just in time to offer free money to the new accounts.

  5. I went to sing up this morning and was not pleased with my experience. It was way to long. I almost fell asleep on my keyboard. The upside to falling asleep on my keyboard is the cool tattoo I would get on my forehead “qwerty”. After signing up I logged into my account and noticed that it was not active yet and it was going to take up to 3 days. How disappointing. I want to spend that $100 now! Owell I will have to wait 3 days until I get to experience the easy to use YSM *wink*.

  6. ooh.. gonna have to try this coupon out.

    I used to do adwords to advertise my book (see link on my name).. but after selling 12 books through adwords, and doing the math, I lost $0.25 per book sold…

    matt.. you can use the $100 to test out my theory that most people just click the first link without reading it. Bid to get the #1 position for any variations of the word “home” or something, with a total nonsense description and see how many seconds it takes to run out of money.

  7. Ok, that was your funny post in awhile. Thanks, I got a laugh out of it.

  8. J

    I think the Rodney Dangerfield movie was “Back to School”, not “Old School”.

  9. Shoemoney, you aren’t gonna see any ads by me, cuz I couldn’t sign up. 🙂

    Tricia, I’ve got an AdWords account (one of the very first!) and an MSN account, but I don’t do any advertising. The accounts are dormant, but I get nice emails that keep me up-to-date with advertiser info.

  10. 6 + 8 umm… fingers…. 14…. man that’s a hard one.

    I signed up and it took me like 2 minutes tops… no problems.

    although when I created a user name that already exited, the error message just told me the requirements for usernames, not that mine was taken.

    Off Topic: matt, what about a Google onebox to refine my search if I meant transactional vs information? (obviously more user friendly than that) That’d be a great filter to have..

    Just something that came to mind while doing some searches on my keywords for setting up my new YSM account.

  11. Doh–J, you’re right! Correcting..

  12. Nice bug, it seemed to work for me.

  13. I received a similar error when I attempted to post a feed to Yahoo’s podcasting directory. A quick search revealed countless others who were experiencing similar problems. I wonder if the issues are browser-specific.

  14. Matt (and Shoemoney),

    Thoughtful review of YSM’s application process.

    It’s amazing how good Yahoo is in some areas and how they gravely lack in other areas – simple usablity being way off in one of their primary business vehicles and we are the crash-test dummies? What a a disaster.

    I’ve had similar experieces with advertising in Yahoo travel; some hassles…but hey, if you can set up multiple discounts along way…go for it!

  15. Roger Balmer

    Seems realy to be a error that only happens to you Matt….. Works pretty fine for me too….

  16. I had the hardest time using ysm.

    If you want to tweak your ad (if you can figure out how to edit it) there is a 3 day “editorial review” period before the changes take effect. They use pop-up windows to give you an editing tool, and when you submit the changes there is nothing to tell you whether your edits were successful.

    So I submitted the changes several times. I finally I found a tab that told me the status of my edits and found several entries that were rejected because of the multiple tries, as well as the first attempt waiting in queue for the editorial review.

    Google adword edits on the other hand, took effect immediately.

  17. Nick

    shoemoney just made $30 per account for everyone who signed up… thru Commission Junction.

  18. If you’ve used YSM for any period of time (and I have, running multiple accounts at work), the “There was an internal error…” thing happens literally all the time.

    On the plus side, we received our Google AdWords mini fridge today for reaching our millionth lead.

    Our thanks to the AdWords team, if you can pass it their way Matt.

  19. And there is an additional point to this: I ran the same ad on Google Ad Words and YSM.

    I got some hits from Yahoo but not a single sale – so it appears that the crowd on Google is more comfortable on spending money online.

  20. Yes, it’s definitely has a bug that they must fix before we can use it.

  21. Free money?!

    I wonder if employees are allowed to apply. I could probably create 30 or 40 accounts this weekend… 🙂

  22. FREE MONIES!!!!111 YES!!!!

    Love them free monies. I have $200+ free from Google. Haven’t paid a cent for AdWords yet and still have $157 in free credits 🙂

  23. I had an disappointing experience with Overture Credits> I bought one service which promised to give $50 in overture credits. However when I went to overture, I found out that the service was valid only for US citizens. Now I am careful if anybody gives such free credits.

  24. I went to look ay Yahoo advertising once before, and after ploughing through screens and screens of marketing dross came to the conclusion I had to get their advertising sales team to call me. How 1980’s.

    I concluded then, that the reason their online advertising revenue was flagging was probably more to do with how they sold it, rather than any change in online behaviour.

    In comparison the odd internal error on the website is quite good, even if them the Google folk aren’t quite quaking in their shoes just yet 😉

  25. I think they disallow registrarion from google ip 🙂

  26. Google Success, you didn’t buy those credits from someone named Thomas, did you? 😉

  27. No, it was from a well respected site ipowerweb – they have it their promotion.

  28. I tried to sign up three times and always encountered an internal server error….. that’s too much of bad luck.

  29. I’m sure that yahoo detected your IP and they don’t let the g-people in their YSM 😉

    btw – thank you for the hint of the free 100$ – just tried it and I didn’t get any error (because I’m not affiliated with G 😉

    Hope I’ll get the 100 for free, because YSM say, that only North-Americans get it free. But I’m looking forward getting some free credit too.

  30. I am getting tired of all these lame contests and free offers but I still get a kick out of things like moustache sales, just one look at Dax can make me spit up coffee all over the freakin’ place in laughter.

  31. Dave (Original)

    Matt, don’t be suprised if you are charged anyway.

    I once (never agian) used YaWho’s Sponsored Listing in their directory listings. I too got a simliar error and decided it was all too hard. 2 months later my wife was asking why YaWho was taking USD100.00 out of bank account each month.

    From that point on it was a NIGHTMARE to get the charges stopped. Email after email was ignored, or replied to with the usual meaningless canned replies.

    So, I thought I would phone them. We are not in the US so I had to phone late at night. After getting through, or so I thought, I was told by the recorded voice to push numbers according to my query. About 10 numbers later (the final one) I was told by the recorded voice that “We are sorry but YaWho is currently not open. Our business hours are between…”

    We finally had to have the bank stop charges from YaWho.

  32. No, it was from a well respected site ipowerweb – they have it their promotion.

    So…tempted…to…rant…on…iPowerWeb. Must…fight…TEMPTATION!

  33. Hi, don’t get upset with Y! I can let you have my coupon! 🙂 or also I can afford it for kari…

  34. This is the reason Yahoo is losing. They have become a big cluttered bureaucracy where everything is hard, and complicated and sssssssssllllllloooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwww.

  35. The ease in which an adwords advertiser or an idiot spammer can get a an adsense publishing account is truly ludicrous. It will be the death of this whole scheme. After blowing a crap load of money advertising with Google I only wish now I would have erred out.

  36. Update…

    My application was denied.

    Apparantley, placing an ad on the keyword “slang dictionary” that links to a sit eselling the book is against their TOS..

    no clue why.

  37. Matt, Matt, Matt, now that you confess indirectly your knowledge of Back To School, I simply have to arrange a viewing in Vegas for all those who have never enjoyed the beauty of that film. Say it. Say it!!!

  38. me

    Not that has to do with anything in Matt’s post, but I completely agree with the Keniki post above. It has become so tiring to see black hat tachniques and spam websites show up consistently above mine (often in spot 1 or 2). I do spam report after spam report, but nothing ever happens to punish the offenders, while I who follow Googles webmaster “guidelines” to a T am punished with lower rankings. I don’t know if this is a subtle ploy to push people out of organic and into adWords, but it sure seems like that sometimes. Amazingly (or maybe not), the spamming site also spends tons of money on adWords and often shows number 1 for the same keywords.

    I know Google is all about ranking things with computer algorithms with no human intervention. But please. Can’t you invent some type social self policing plan to root out crap spam affiliate sites. Can’t you simply put a link next to every result the says “report this site as spam”. Enough reports (from different IP’s I assume) would trigger a human review. This would at least keep the 1st couple results pages clean…I know this system is open to abuse also, but come on can’t hundreds/thousands of Stanford pHD’s and billions of dollar come up with some type of elegant solution…I guess not so far!

    I can’t be the only one disillusioned with the adSense laden crap affiliate laden sites cluttering up the results.

    Sorry for the rant but their really is no other outlet except your blog and the faceless spam reporting page….Keep up the good fight!

  39. Jeremy

    This was such a scam on Yahoos part.

    I made it all the way through the sign-up with no errors. On the last page it even said I was getting the $100 credit. Once my account was approved, the credit was missing and according to Yahoo support the coupon had expired and I get nothing. This even though during the whole sign-up process their site kept saying I was getting the credit.

  40. After grade 7 my math marks sucked so here’s hoping this got through

    There is nothing worse than spending time trying to signup, join or even buy something only to get an error message…oh, sorry, yes there is, when you hit the back button to try again and all the information you just spent the past hour entering is gone. Worse.

  41. Chris

    Yeah, Y! has a history of treating advertisers poorly, and why they are losing, IMHO. They need a management overhaul.

  42. Ok, that was your funny post in awhile. Thanks

  43. A bit late reaction from me but alas, I found this “rant” through Google. (Where else.) I’ve had troubles myself to get the coupon to work and have just given up. I’m waiting for Google to start something similar as I have been on ‘the edge’ of signing up for AdWords for a long time, but just need that final little push. Basically the problem is convincing myself it is worth running a campaign for my site and the lack of will to risk some real money before being able to try. (I know, it is a rather unsubtle hint, but seriously I think a lot more people would try AdWords if there was an incentive. Maybe offer to double the initial deposit up to a certain amount – it doesn’t have to be huge to appeal to the smaller fish out there.)

    Google Success: Mine was from Ipowerweb/Ipower as well (the same company). They are actually not that well respected and I’ve had terrible experiences with the Ipower customer support.. Please feel free to share your own troubles, I’d very gladly post them!