Posted February 19, 2009 8:03 am by with 2 comments

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According to the New York Times, Yahoo plans to announce today that they will be including video and images in their paid search ads. Traditionally, Yahoo’s main source of ad revenue came from display ads but the shift in that market had an effect on them in the 4th quarter of last year when display ad revenue was down 2% but search was up 11%.

We all know that Yahoo is looking for a piece of the pie that Google has at the parent’s table while Yahoo is left at the kid’s table looking for scraps regarding paid search revenue. This effort shows that there is still some fight in them. Will it work? Who knows these days.
Below is an example cited in the article for Pedigree dog food.


I don’t have a dog but I guess they figure that dog owners looking for Pedigree need to see a video. Pedigree thinks so.

“Video is always more powerful than just words on the page,” said John Anton, the marketing director at Pedigree. “It’s definitely compelling to us to have options like this, where, when you type in ‘Pedigree,’ you get more than just the words, you get the video itself.”

Other features include a search box that shows up for certain ads where the searcher can put their zip code and get more relevant information or include a logo like some Staples ads.

There is a monthly charge for this service and it is currently limited to a pilot for big brands who already have video ready to go like SoBe, Pepsi and Home Depot. According to Yahoo, some pilot program folks have reported increase in click throughs up to 25%. Not bad. Razorfish, who is using this with some of their clients saw less dramatic improvements like 5-10%. Still improvement is improvement and stats are stats. Consider the sources and make your own educated decision on the impact.

While all of this is going on there is the looming potential of Microsoft purchasing the Yahoo search business and the new Yahoo leader, Carol A. Bartz has said in a conference call last month that “everything is on the table”. As always, should be interesting to follow and it will give us all more opportunity to speculate. So go ahead, Pilgrims. Speculate away!

  • This is interesting. Whether or not it impacts sales at all remains, of course, to be seen. But Google and other search engines aren’t really doing this yet, which is a sign of innovation on Yahoo’s part. Of course, it’s a risk, but that’s how you become successful at anything. You can’t wait for someone else to start doing something, see that it works, and copy it. You have to be a leader in the industry. Yahoo is stepping up here.

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  • Display ads are definitely on the wane, and seeing that Yahoo is not getting stuck in that trap, but are venturing forth into new territories is gratifying. I don’t want tot see them go under, Google needs competition!