Yahoo! follows suit by adding image ads to their contextual line up

Hot on the heels of the news that Google is expanding their own contextual image ad program by now allowing both animated images as well as Flash ads, comes the news that Yahoo is also now testing their own image ad program.

A Yahoo Inc. spokeswoman confirmed this week that the company’s search-marketing division, formerly known as Overture Services, has started testing graphical banner ads displayed based on their relevancy to a Web page’s content.

“We’re always looking at ways of enhancing our services,” Yahoo spokeswoman Gaude Paez said. “There are a number of things we’re looking at doing [in search advertising], including tests we’ve begun for putting sponsored listings in a banner, graphical format.”

What is worth noting is that these image ads are dynamic in nature, and will change from the initial image ad to a sponsored link ad.

While Yahoo! has so far been playing catch-up in the contextual ad marketplace, it will be interesting to see what they pull off to give them an edge over the Google AdSense product when they finally do launch their own competitive Yahoo Publisher Network.

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