Yahoo Contextual Ads Challenge Google AdSense
Google AdSense has some competition coming. News.com posts Yahoo to launch blog ad network: “Yahoo is planning to launch on Wednesday an ad network for small Web publishers intended to strengthen its hand against rival Google, a source familiar with the plan told CNET News.com….Yahoo’s new service will differ from Google in that it will add human editorial judgment to the selection of ads for content pages. In comparison, Google’s service relies on technology.”
There are many fronts they can beat Google on:
* open revenue sharing policies
* unlike AdSense, they could actually enforce some legitimate quality standards – which may be likely if they put a bit more human interaction into the system
* more flexible, offering XML feeds or customizable ads instead of making people use arbitrary ad blocks
* Allow advertisers to run various ad copy lengths.
* Allow advertisers to pick what sites they want their ads to appear on or block.
* Better reporting of where ads are being displayed.
It looks like some people are already testing the new network. Earlier Oilman mentioned the Yahoo! context ads on Women’s Finance, and looking around, they also appeared on Mom’s Budget. I wonder what sort of revenue sharing Yahoo! is offering.
Yahoo! quickly needs to expand their inventory before they lose their partnership with MSN to avoid becoming a second tier pay per click engine.
I looked around and a few of the search related blogs, like Jeremy Zawodny, JenSense, and SE Roundtable were also displaying ads. Some of the publishing partner ads looked a bit botched. The ones on SE Roundtable were frequently off topic and cut off. I mean, how compelling is this ad:
Contraxx by Ecteon
Providing premium contract…
I know that as a user I probably would not click that, if I was the site owner I would be angry for wasting my screen space on that, and if I was paying for that advertisment I would be angry about that ad wasting my money. Why not just use shorter ad copy instead of cutting it off?
How can Yahoo! even think those chopped up ads are useful? Didn’t they do some sort of testing on the system? How can an editor think that above six word ad is anything other than complete garbage?
Some chopped ads may send the wrong branding message and work to destroy brand value. Not good, IMHO.
Aaron Wall is a Search Engine Marketing expert and the publisher of the SEOBook.