Yahoo To Launch Multimedia Search Ads - InformationWeek

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2/19/2009
12:52 PM
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Yahoo To Launch Multimedia Search Ads

New platform features video and static images alongside traditional results.

Yahoo plans to launch a search ad platform that features video and images.

The company's Rich Ads in Search will display images next to the blue text ad links in search results. Users can click on some of the images to watch video commercials. The platform also allows advertisers to present static images, such as logos, and search boxes within the ads.

The move combines Yahoo's strength in display and banner ads with search, an area where the company has lagged behind Google. ComScore reported this week that Google claimed 63% of U.S. searches in January, while Yahoo captured 21% and Microsoft pulled 8.5%.

As advertising budgets are cut, search ads are expected to provide a more stable revenue stream than other forms of advertising.

A Rich Ads in Search pilot program with major American brands showed increased click-through rates of up to 25%, according to Yahoo. Independent researchers found increases of up to 10% in click-through rates. Yahoo plans to expand the pilot, first to more advertisers within the United States, then to advertisers around the world. At this point, it's only available to Yahoo's existing brand advertisers, including Pepsi and Home Depot.

When users type in certain search terms, they will see the traditional blue text links, alongside images and search boxes. They can click on the images or enter information, such as their ZIP codes, into the search boxes. The platform then delivers a list of area businesses that feature the product the user was looking for.

Neither of Yahoo's two biggest search competitors, Google or Microsoft, offers similar features.

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