Yahoo to Display Google Ads
Yahoo and Google have rarely seemed to have a particularly friendly relationship, especially in regards to the ad business for their respective search engines. However, the two companies announced yesterday that Google would be providing relevant display ads for Yahoo sites worldwide. This agreement is not exclusive, and Google will not be the only company providing ads for Yahoo. The fact that it is one of them, though, is a major development in the relationship between the two companies.
Yahoo and Google created significant waves in the SEO community in the middle of 2012, when the two companies discussed forming a more close-knit advertising relationship. In fact, one possibility that was discussed was that of Google essentially handling all of Yahoo’s advertising duties for them. A deal this extensive never materialized, but the somewhat more scaled-back agreement the companies just announced indicates that the lines of communication are still open – and perhaps that the potential for a more in-depth agreement in the future still exists.
This new agreement may seem rather odd considering that Yahoo has an exclusive agreement already in place with Microsoft’s Bing to handle all of its search ads. However, the agreement between Yahoo and Microsoft clearly states that it does not cover contextual ads, which are those in question in the new agreement between Yahoo and Google. A search ad is displayed above and next to the organic results generated when a search term is entered into a search engine. A contextual ad, however, is generated by the content of the page on which it is displayed, rather than a query typed by a user.
In addition to the search ads Bing provides for Yahoo on an exclusive basis, Bing does provide contextual ads for Yahoo on a non-exclusive basis – the same type of arrangement Yahoo will now have with Google as well. Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw explained to Business Insider, “The strategic alliance we entered with Yahoo allows them to enter into agreements with other providers in the contextual advertising space. Bing Ads contextual offering is one of those providers. We continue to work closely with Yahoo on making our Search Alliance successful for both companies and our customers.”
Yahoo CEO Marissa Myer is thought to be a driving force behind this agreement. She joined Yahoo less than a year ago after serving as a top Google executive for 13 years; in fact, she was only the 20th employee Google hired. This background gives her a unique ability to help the two companies find common ground. One result is this new agreement, which means that at least some of the ads Yahoo displays on its sites will be generated by Google’s Adsense for Content and AdMob services.
For the world of search engine optimization, besides the general impact of an advertising agreement between two of the most popular search companies in the world, the biggest specific impact will likely be felt by SEO specialists who run display ads through Google. This agreement means that those advertisers will now enjoy a substantially expanded audience since their ads will appear to visitors to Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Autos, along with a variety of similar sites. As Yahoo stated in its official announcement, “By adding Google to our list of world-class contextual ads partners, we'll be able to expand our network, which means we can serve users with ads that are even more meaningful.” Visitors to Yahoo’s sites are not expected to notice any significant changes in the ads they see or how they are delivered, but advertisers certainly will.
From Google’s perspective, the agreement with Yahoo simply means that Yahoo joins a list of thousands of different companies that already depend on Google to provide them with advertising. Of course, Yahoo is a far larger and more extensive partner than the vast majority of these other companies. According to TechCrunch, a Google spokesman commented, “We work with a number of top publishers to help them monetize their content through AdSense for Content and AdMob. We’re thrilled to now include Yahoo! on that list.”
Yahoo’s shares rose by up to 6.3 percent in the aftermath of the announcement, a reflection of a general expectation that the addition of Google to Yahoo’s contextual ad network will translate to an improvement in the monetization of its traffic.
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