New Yahoo! Contextual Ads

AdSense has some competition coming. News.com posts Yahoo to launch blog ad network:

Yahoo is planning to launch on Wednesday an ad network for small Web publishers intended to strengthen its hand against rival Google, a source familiar with the plan told CNET News.com.
...
Yahoo's new service will differ from Google in that it will add human editorial judgment to the selection of ads for content pages. In comparison, Google's service relies on technology.

There are many fronts they can beat Google on:

  • open revenue sharing policies

  • unlike AdSense, they could actually enforce some legitimate quality standards - which may be likely if they put a bit more human interaction into the system
  • more flexible, offering XML feeds or customizable ads instead of making people use arbitrary ad blocks
  • Allow advertisers to run various ad copy lengths.
  • Allow advertisers to pick what sites they want their ads to appear on or block.
  • Better reporting of where ads are being displayed.

It looks like some people are already testing the new network. Earlier Oilman mentioned the Yahoo! context ads on Women's Finance, and looking around, they also appeared on Mom's Budget. I wonder what sort of revenue sharing Yahoo! is offering.

Yahoo! quickly needs to expand their inventory before they lose their partnership with MSN to avoid becoming a second tier pay per click engine.

I looked around and a few of the search related blogs, like Jeremy Zawodny, JenSense, and SE Roundtable were also displaying ads. Some of the publishing partner ads looked a bit botched. The ones on SE Roundtable were frequently off topic and cut off. I mean, how compelling is this ad:

Contraxx by Ecteon
Providing premium contract...

I know that as a user I probably would not click that, if I was the site owner I would be angry for wasting my screen space on that, and if I was paying for that advertisment I would be angry about that ad wasting my money. Why not just use shorter ad copy instead of cutting it off?

How can Yahoo! even think those chopped up ads are useful? Didn't they do some sort of testing on the system? How can an editor think that above six word ad is anything other than complete garbage?

Some chopped ads may send the wrong branding message and work to destroy brand value. Not good, IMHO.

Yahoo! Search Marketing Workbook, Google PageRank Update, New Google Patents

Jul 17th

Yahoo! Search Marketing Workbook:
They never had the manners to redirect the old link, but Yahoo! have finished rebranding the old Overture Workbook. Yahoo! Search Marketing Workbook [101 page PDF]

Google PageRank Update:
Not that it matters much, but Google has recently updated toolbar PageRank

Google AdSense TOS:
have been updated

Google Jobs:
creative way to apply

Google AdSense Targeting:
Interesting to see ads for SEO products on cached copies of lyrics pages

Google Patents:
Google Patent App: direct navigation to specific portion of target document (from SEW forums)
Google Patent App: Systems and methods for improving search quality (from SEW forums)

bonus research from Cornell: Optimizing Search Engines using Clickthrough Data [PDF] (from SEW forums)

Yahoo! Hot Jobs Searches the Web for Jobs

Jul 7th
posted in

Yahoo! is leveraging their knowledge of the web to try to increase activity at Hot Jobs.

Searching using the job engine at Hot Jobs now searches various job posting sites accross the web, which could increase Hot Jobs exposure, but could also cause their listing fees to get marginalized as people could opt to list jobs at some of the smaller databases that will now get more exposure. I believe Craigslist offers free job postings. If Hot Jobs searches those types of sites will their business model erode?

Monster.com has been doing fairly well in the market the past few days, due in part to analyst upgrades. Not too long ago they announced their founder was leaving to start a secret project which Monster.com is also backing.

When will Google creates vertical searches for things like jobs, and how open they will be? How many vertical markets will general search engines create and destroy as search advances? It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

From John, who also points out a couple other small players in the job market.

Univision Partners with Google, Yahoo! Social Search, Google Partners with T Mobile

Jun 29th

En Espanol Por Favor:
Univision now powered by Google.

Share Your Searches:
Yahoo! Social Search. SearchEngineWatch has a writeup on it as well. Search personalization is going to be huge.

Mobile Search:
T Mobile partners with Google

BONN, June 29 (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom's (DTEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) mobile arm T-Mobile will use Web search leader Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) as the starting point for surfing the Internet on its mobile phones to promote Internet usage, T-Mobile said on Wednesday.

The mobile partnerships are going to be huge.

Yahoo! Search DMCA, Copywriting Advice, Google AdSense Supports Warez Sites

Yahoo! DMCA Policy:
bogus, removing sites without ANY sort of notification. They really ought to work on that. (from TW)

Bad Copywriting Advice:

You can also use copy from the site (no links), like the section where it says, "The only current SEO Book on the planet. Buy the industry standard #1 ranked SEO Book. What do the search engines think?" Etc.

Especially copy on this page:
http://www.seobook.com/buy-now.shtml

How can a copywriting professional offer such advice on an open forum?

Google AdSense Feedback:
Questions for AdSense...

  • Why are many WAREZ sites use AdSense as a business model?

  • Is it proper to use the AdSense spam report feature on WAREZ sites?
  • What if Google ignores that feedback?
  • Is Google telling webmasters that stealing is fine, and they support fraud?
  • Do they want people to run clickbots on their system to get them to actually accept feedback?
  • Are clickbots and other scam software products the only way to force quality into the AdSense program?

45 Minutes with Yahoo's Tim Mayer

Jun 23rd

Brett Tabke interviewed Tim Mayer. Tim think feedback from webmasters is useful in helping them keep up with indexing issues. They include publishers in their mission statement.

Spoke briefly about My Yahoo!, Yahoo! Subscription search, and Yahoo! Mindset.

The human feedback from people blocking or saving sites will be one of the biggest things that will effect search quality in the next
few years. PageRank has been around for a long time and has become heavily manipulated. Tim says that there has to be a better way.

Sees the problem with local search as getting small businesses to want to make information available. They made it free to get a local
website on Yahoo!.

Yahoo! Search itself is one of the most underutalized products Yahoo! owns because there are so many other features offered on the home page. Tim also mentioned the Yahoo! Search Developer Network, recommending people pull their linkage data and rank check queries from there.

Brett asked what are the biggest things you are fighting right now. Tim said he prefered to focus on the possitives. He mentioned that
Yahoo! has been winning RustySearch relevancy challenge. One problem many engines have is finding and indexing new content.

Looking for a manager for AltaVista and AlltheWeb. Feel free to apply. Each has a slightly different userbase and slightly different
indexes and relevancy algorithms to accomidate that.

Yahoo! has over 60% marketshare in Japan.

Good to get feedback from friends prior to sending a site to a search representitive.

Not sure whether or not or how they will use the feedback features to help sort relevancy. If the signal is good enough they want to
use it. Many of the feedback features are designed to help people find stuff they had found before, which may have got hidden in the
index dring a relevancy shuffle.

Amazon 10th Anniversary Concert Webcast, Yahoo! Subscription Search

Jun 16th
posted in

Free Web Concert:
Amazon.com 10TH anniversary 5PM Pacific today on the 17TH of next month - Bob Dylan & Norah Jones, Hosted by Bill Maher

20 that Made History:
Fortune Article

Still Not Dead, YET:
LookSmart Solutions for Publishers - the new offerings seem a bit confusing and grab bag like, why not launch them one at a time like...

Yahoo! Subscription Search:
search through subscription content, such as Financial Times & The Wall Street Journal.

It will be interesting to see how they integrate that with regular search, and how much of a push they make at integration. from TW

Internet Geography Project:
interesting. Marcia linked to it in a SEW thread recently.

A Bit Rich?
article about natural link development from a person who runs a network that sells off topic bulk cheap links sold by PageRank. hmm.

Purple:
What's the Matter with Kansas?

SEMphonic Competitive Analysis, Yahoo! Buys VOIP Player Dial Pad

SEMphonic:
New SEO competitive analysis tool. I have not tried it, but it seems similar to Adgooroo.

Bundles:
of fun & software. Google Toolbar bundled with WinZip

Washington Times:
switched from Google to Yahoo! Search.

Relevant:
EFF Legal Guide for Bloggers <-- I need to take a peak at that.
http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/archives/000859.html

VoIP:
Yahoo! buys Dial Pad. they also bought Blo.gs

WordPress vs MovableType:
Jeremy Z switching to WordPress. surely thats not a good thing for MovableType. Also, why is the Yahoo! Search Blog using MovableType instead of their Yahoo! 360 or whatever?

Goole Toolbar PageRank Missing, Google Engineers at WMW Conference, Yahoo! & DMOZ Weighting

May 28th

PageRank:
goes missing from toolbar. Brett Tabke said it is just a temporary glitch though.

Google Engineers:to appear at the New Orleans WMW conference

Does Reciprocal Linking Work?
Recently I saw the Blue Gecko SEO forums ranking at #10 for SEO. Most of his link popularity looked like it was from link trades associated with his webmaster resources directory. The reason people say link trades do not work are mostly because:

  • they are usually slow and expensive to build if you do not outsource or automate

  • most people exchanging links in bulk are not doing so with quality sites

DMOZ Weighting in Yahoo!:
I created a one page site about Effexor which is listed in DMOZ. I have not built any other linkage data, and it is ranking in the mid 30s for Effexor out of over 7,000,000 sites.

Yahoo! launches Mindset

May 28th
posted in

Yahoo! Mindset is a recently launched search tool from Yahoo! which allows you to customize your search experience to add bias toward comercial or research type resources.

When Google update florida occured about a year and a half ago some people viewed it as a way to bias the results to non commercial or informational type listings. If search engines can train users to use the search resuls for information and ads for commercial sites then that could do a large bit to change the face of SEO.

Combine that idea with:

  • most searches being unique

  • the longer and more unique queries typically have higher conversion rates
  • giving away information builds credibility (in linkage data, consumer trust, & karma)
  • building communities builds an abundance of content

and you can see why / how people without much money can compete with large evil megacorps by building up from the bottom and working their way toward the middle.

I may be beta testing a new SEO tool this week. Trying it out will be free. More on that later :)

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