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Microsoft and Advance Internet Team Up

microsoftMicrosoft is certainly determined to at least make life a little less sunny for their buddies in Mountain View (that’s Google). Of course, we are all familiar with the badda bing! impact of Microsoft’s re-entry into the search game. That was followed up by the successful unification of two of the search engine world’s biggest ‘threats’ to Google’s search supremacy. So what could be next?

While not as dramatic or even impactful as the first two events the announcement that Advance Internet has decided to go with Microsoft by running its Content Advertising links on its sites rather than stay with Google’s AdSense program. ClickZ tells us a bit more

“Google now has been replaced with the Microsoft product,” Advance Internet President Peter Weinberger told ClickZ News. The company began running AdSense ads in early 2008.

Exactly how much AdSense inventory is represented by Advance Internet sites — which include local news sites NJ.com, NOLA.com, and OregonLive.com — is not clear. Weinberger said he was not sure. Google did not comment in time for publication. The agreement does not affect Condé Nast Digital sites such as Epicurious.com and Style.com, which are published by a separate division.

Earth shattering? Not really but the ability to win battles / skirmishes may exist that did not exist in the past thus allowing Microsoft to gain something in the online space that it has lacked for a long time: confidence.

In an interesting side note, Yahoo also takes a hit in deals like this because of deals that it has with newspapers that use their ad management platform. Advance Internet is getting a bit more flexibility by using 24/7 Real Media’s ad management platform and that was a critical component of their decision.

“We want the flexibility of continuing to use our current advertising platform… There’s a tremendous amount of flux in the ad serving space right now,” he continued. “It seemed to make sense for us to be patient to get a better understanding of what all these platforms will become before making a decision.”

So is this the tide turning fully in favor of someone other than Google? Not likely. The reality is though that Microsoft might have created enough of an image boost to get these kinds of deals that Google has apparently under serviced or ignored. There was no account management from Google so this group of advertisers just simply went away as any other small publisher would by turning off the service and moving somewhere else.

Once again this is not being written as if this is a real game changer. It may just be a blip. If Microsoft can string together enough small victories that were otherwise unavailable in the past the longer term Impact may turn out to be significant. Probably not enough to unseat Google (ever) but even a few percentage point gain in share represents tremendous revenue impact to a company that is likely headed into battle with Google over the operating systems of the future. Makes for interesting times indeed.