MSN Launches Paid Search Platform

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Friday, March 18, 2005

MSN Launches Paid Search PlatformMicrosoft, who a little over a month ago released its own search technology, has signaled a direct assault on one of the main profit-generators of Google and Yahoo when it unveiled its plans for MSN AdCenter, a paid for search engine placement program. With this type of paid-placement product, Microsoft will move into the mother lode of a multibillion dollar ad business dominated by Google and Yahoo.

MSN Launches Paid Search Platform

The time has finally come when Microsoft's MSN will tighten up it's boots, re-lace it's gloves, and step back into the ring to go toe-to-toe with search engine rivals Google and Yahoo!. Microsoft, who a little over a month ago released its own search technology, has signaled a direct assault on one of the main profit-generators of Google and Yahoo when it unveiled its plans for MSN AdCenter, a paid for search engine placement program (Pay Per Click).

Why is Microsoft Moving into Paid-Search

This new program is expected to dip into the pockets of its search competitors. With this type of paid-placement product, Microsoft will move into the mother lode of a multibillion dollar ad business dominated by Google and Yahoo. Search-engine marketing is expected to be worth as much as $5 billion this year, and nearly $9 billion annually within four years, according to Jupiter Research. Microsoft's piece of this multi-billion dollar pie has been smaller than the shares enjoyed by market leaders Yahoo and Google, and now the software giant is hungry for more.

What does this Mean for Search Marketers

Everything! For the last several years, Overture has supplied the sponsored search listings adjacent to and above MSN search results, a partnership that has helped buoy profits of the Internet property. As we all know, attaining a top listing MSN was as easy as outbidding your competitors in Overture and even though MSN has no plans to immediately discontinue this partnership, rest assure that it is going to happen. The Overture and MSN partnership is inked up to the end of June 2006, which gives MSN plenty of time to further develop and test their new ad network. MSN already has plans to roll out AdCenter in Singapore and France in coming months in which will permanently bump Overture ads in the long run and let MSN own a major source of its advertising revenue.

MSN AdCenter will provide marketers and advertisers with an opportunity to profit. Microsoft will develop the third major paid online search advertising platform and at the same time provide an alternative to costly Google and Overture campaigns.

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Yahoo! Plans for 'Adsense-like' Ad Network

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Friday, March 11, 2005

Yahoo! Plans for 'Adsense-like' Ad NetworkMuch like Google's Adsense service, Yahoo's product will display text ads deemed relevant to the content of specific web pages in which advertisers will pay only when a reader clicks on their ad. As opposed to regular search-related ads, which are triggered by keywords entered into a search engine query bar, this new Yahoo! product will feature ads that are targeted to the content of a page and its meaning.

Yahoo! Plans for 'Adsense-like' Ad Network

While Yahoo! and Google already go head-to-head for major search advertising partners such as AOL and MSN, Google has largely enjoyed a monopoly serving its signature text-only ads, also known and Adsense ads, to smaller websites... until now that is. Yahoo! has announced plans to launch its own ad network option for small publishers.

Much like Google's Adsense service, Yahoo's product will display text ads deemed relevant to the content of specific web pages in which advertisers will pay only when a reader clicks on their ad. As opposed to regular search-related ads, which are triggered by keywords entered into a search engine query bar, this new Yahoo! product will feature ads that are targeted to the content of a page and its meaning. For example, a news story about a soccer match might display a sponsored link for soccer gear.

Yahoo's on-going push to expand its advertising reach comes as the market for search advertising is taking off, fueling record revenue and profits. At the same time, Yahoo! is busy looking for new revenue sources as it seeks to transform itself into an online media conglomerate and beat Google in the Web search game.

In my opinion, Yahoo's plan for relying on small publishers to show its Overture ads offers a promising growth path for both Yahoo! and its Overture advertisers, given Google's earlier efforts in this niche.

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Lycos Ends Search Partnership with Yahoo!

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Friday, March 04, 2005
Lycos Ends Search Partnership with Yahoo!

Announced this past Wednesday, the web portal Lycos will end its long-term relationship with Yahoo! in favor of using the Internet's favorite butler, Jeeves. As explained by Adam Sciroco of Lycos, a search-relationship with Ask Jeeves would provide Lycos with broader searching solutions than what Yahoo! is able to provide. The decision to switch from Yahoo! to Ask Jeeves should come as no shock as Ask Jeeves technology is already being used with other Lycos web properties.

While it has yet to be reported which "searching solutions" Yahoo! is unable to provide, I feel that Lycos replaced a perfectly good search-relationship for one that still remains to be taken seriously. And, for what?

There is no question that Ask Jeeves has great search tools and resources and currently does a fine job of syndicating its search technologies and advertising products to other websites, including, InfoSpace, BellSouth, Mamma.com and CNET Networks - the parent company of News.com. However, in my opinion Jeeves is not on the same playing level as Yahoo! Search.

I guess all there is to do now is wait and see how this change will affect Lycos in the long run... only time will tell on this matter.

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