I generally like Yahoo and its products–in particular Flickr and Delicious. And, when Yahoo first revamped its Yahoo Search Marketing product, I was blown away by how cool it was.
How things have changed in just a couple of years. I’m afraid to say that I am actually embarrassed for Yahoo.
Why? Because, someone over at Yahoo made the bone-headed decision to start unilaterally messing with the keywords and bids of sponsored search customers. If that wasn’t bad enough, Yahoo just quietly updated its Terms & Conditions–making advertisers fully responsible for those decisions.
Take a look at the new T&C (emphasis added):
OPTIMIZATION. In the U.S. only, for those advertisers not bound by an Insertion Order, we may help you optimize your account(s). Accordingly, you expressly agree that we may also: (i) create ads, (ii) add and/or remove keywords, and/or (iii) optimize your account(s). We will notify you via email of such changes made to your account(s), and can also include a spreadsheet of such changes upon your written request. If you would like any of such changes reversed, please reply to such email within 14 days of the change(s), and we will make commercially reasonable efforts to reverse the change(s) you specifically identify. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you remain responsible for all changes made to your account(s), including all click charges incurred prior to any reversions being made. It is your responsibility to monitor your account(s) and to ensure that your account settings are consistent with your business objectives.
I’m not sure I’ve ever typed this in a post before, but O…M…G!!!!
Yahoo just decided that it has the full right to change your bids, spend your money and make you responsible for all of it! Not only that, but it makes no guaranteed timeline of how quickly it will reverse the changes when asked, other than to take “commercially reasonable efforts.”
How is this legal? Forget legal, how is this fair? Can you imagine if your investment adviser started buying stocks on your behalf or switched your portfolio from bonds to hedge funds??
Caveat Emptor Pilgrims!