Feeds

Yahoo! Unveils! New! Banner! Ad! Engine!

It knows what you want

High performance access to file storage

Score one for Yahoo! in the ongoing battle for online ad dollars. Yesterday, the beleaguered company unveiled a new banner ad platform that allows marketers to target web users according to their online behavior, a talent typically reserved for text-based ad engines.

The new platform, known as SmartAds, could give Yahoo! at least a temporary leg-up on DoubleClick, the ad serving company that Google recently agreed to purchase in a deal worth $3.1bn.

As Google awaits FTC approval for its DoubleClick deal, SmartAds is now being tested on Yahoo!'s network of websites and by two major airlines, The New York Times reports.

With SmartAds, marketers have the power to create and distribute targeted banner ads using data that Yahoo! collects about individual web surfers. If a user has recently searched Yahoo! for DVD players, for instance, he might see a graphical ad that includes sale prices for DVD players at a nearby retail store. Such contextual targeting has long been a part of the text-based ads that turn up when you search sites like Yahoo! and Google, but it's a step up for banner ads.

"Yahoo!'s SmartAds gives marketers what they want from online advertising: the ability to deliver customized marketing messages to consumers, and still engage very large audiences with their brand," said Todd Teresi, Yahoo!'s senior vice president of display marketplaces. "By enabling marketers to reach consumers on a more tailored basis and helping creative agencies support those customized campaigns, we can provide an even more engaging, relevant online experience to the more than 500 million users of Yahoo! branded products and services."

Kelly Cutler, CEO of the Chicago-based Marcel Media, an advisory firm that specialized in online marketing, believes the platform could "take online advertising to the next level. Behavior targeting is something our clients have been clamoring for," she says. Marcel has yet to use the service, but the firm is slated to start a beta test with a few customers in the near future. "It's hard to tell exactly how much targeting this will provide, but it's definitely going to be an improvement over what we currently have available to us in terms of banner ads."

Traditionally, graphical banner ads are a decent means of promoting a brand, but - next to text-based search ads - they're a step behind when it comes to click-throughs and sales. "With search engine text ads, we've been able to assume behavior targeting based on what consumers are searching for," says Culter. "But display advertising is more a broad reach kind of thing. That broad targeting has actually hurt display advertising and that's why search ads have gained so much market share recently."

Yahoo! continues to trial Google in the search advertising market, and in mid-June, under pressure from unhappy shareholders, CEO Terry Semel resigned his post, giving way to company co-founder Jerry Yang. With its latest announcement, the company has at least shown that's it's still up for the fight. The SmartAds platform will also be available for use on RightMedia, the ad network that Yahoo! recently agreed to purchase (this deal is also awaiting FTC approval). RightMedia competes directly with DoubleClick.

Update

With its AdSense network, Google allows marketers to serve banner ads on third-party web sites, and these ads can be targeted to individuals based on zip code. But they can't be customized or distributed based on user behavior. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.