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Parmy Olson, 05.08.06, 10:29 AM ET
London - On target: Riding on the coattails of Microsoft's announcement last week that it was moving its search advertising system out of beta mode, Internet giant Yahoo! is now singing a similar tune. The search giant has announced that it will be rolling out a "completely redesigned" search advertising platform in the third quarter of this year.
Ease of use and more accurate targeting are keys to the revamp. Yahoo! (nasdaq: YHOO - news - people ) said in a statement that the new platform would enable marketers to more quickly launch search advertising campaigns across the search giant and its distribution network, "and help better overall return on their search advertising investment."
Yahoo!'s chairman and chief executive, Terry Semel said last month that he was "very excited" about the company's future prospects. The extent to which those sentiments are warranted will likely not be known until well after this fall, particularly if the new platform is to indeed have an effect on the bottom line. Still, analysts are reported to be initlally positive on news of the refurbished system, with some seeing it as an indication that Yahoo! could be catching up with Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) and its popular AdSense platform. "It's something the industry has been waiting on a long time," advertising specialist Paul Kelley told a U.K. media report.
Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) last week ballyhooed its ad platform's "exclusive targeting features" which allowed registered users to select whom, what time of day and to what geographic location their ad would be shown. But while Microsoft may have a huge portal of information that it can leverage to help home in on a target audience, Yahoo! can at least tout a bigger slice of the search engine market pie. Recent reported figures have shown Semel's internet giant to hold a 27% share behind Google's 42%, while Microsoft's MSN still lags with 13%.
Looks like 3rd quarter guys!