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Yahoo: New Vision, New Ads

Yahoo has two big news items garnering publicity today: an article about Susan Decker in the New York Times and a new ad format.

“Can She Turn Yahoo Into, Well, Google?”
The New York Times (via) starts off asking the right question: can recently-promoted Yahoo president Sue Decker change Yahoo fortune’s for the better? Well, if finally getting a turn in the Sunday Times counts, then perhaps. Or if her resume counts for something, yes.

However, the reporter didn’t actually interview Decker (she declined), so the article doesn’t provide a ton of new information. If you need to know more about the “Can They Save Yahoo?” debate and a laundry list of Decker’s successes and shortcomings within and outside of Yahoo (along with several concerned parties reminding us that she has little operations experience). Still, if you’ve not been apprised of Yahoo’s situation and the goals of their new leadership, it’s a good place to start.

New Yahoo SmartAds Offer Behavioral Targeting

It didn’t take long for the newly organized Yahoo advertising group to launch their first major initiative. CNET has details of the launch of Yahoo SmartAds which combines demographic, geographic and behavioral targeting that allows customized “on the fly” ads.

How will it work?

…instead of just seeing a generic ad for a Toyota Prius, a woman in San Francisco who conducts research on hybrid cars on Yahoo Autos could be served an ad for a local San Francisco dealer, along with information on the types of Priuses in stock and their purchase price. The ad, which is configured on the fly, could also feature a background color targeted for women in her age range, as well as a Golden Gate Bridge logo.

Calling Out eBay’s "Experiment" with Google AdWords

eBay is back advertising on Google’s AdWords network, after completing what it called a planned “experiment” to go one week without relying on Google. (In case you need a refresher, eBay yanked all of their advertising on AdWords, after Google tried to hold a private party at eBay’s annual conference.)

EBay executives have insisted that pulling ads off Google was in the works for months, but it came just as Google was planning “Let Freedom Ring” — a reference to the fact that San Jose-based eBay, which owns transaction service PayPal, does not allow rival Google Checkout as a payment method.

As Travelocity’s traveling gnome would say “bullhonkery!”

Merchant Adoption Rates of Google Checkout vs. PayPal Express

By Ryan Douglas

Recent news through Internet Retailer reports that the adoption rate of Google Checkout is slightly higher with Top 500 retailers than PayPal?s Express Checkout.

It is not surprising to hear this news as I work for a merchant who has offered Google Checkout since it was released to the public back in the summer of 2006. I?ve felt strongly that Google would be able to use this data to help retailers/advertisers offer more effective ads to potential shoppers. That time is still likely to come, but I imagine Google is working on it somewhere.

Web Spend, Broadband Access, China Users – Research Shows All Going Up!

If I had a nickel for every internet study released, I’d be a rich man able to afford an extra shot of espresso in my coffee. Reuters has details of a new study from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Global Entertainment and Media Outlook (just rolls off the tongue) that reveals, nor surprisingly, an upward trend in internet numbers.

Here’s the gist of it…

  1. Spending on web advertising and fees paid by U.S. consumers to internet providers to reach $78.4 billion by 2011.
  2. Online advertising in the U.S. will account for $35.4 billion of that.
  3. China web users will overtake the U.S. by 2009.
  4. Expect 89 million U.S. broadband subscribers by 2011.

The only loser? Dial-up spending will decrease by 25.5% – so no more having to listen to that screech-owl that lives in your modem. ;-)

First the Cola Wars — Now the Search Engine Wars

Ah the eighties. Remember the good old “cola wars”? Well the marketing war being waged today is far beyond the likes of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Welcome to the search engine wars. The search engine wars, however, have moved past including only the likes of Google, Yahoo! and MSN. The latest saga in the search engine wars involves Google and a non-search engine, Ebay.

Apparently, the ongong feud between Google and Ebay has hit the tipping point, with Ebay announcing today that it has pulled all of its advertising from the Google AdWords program. This action comes after Google threw a party during the Ebay Live conference in Boston earlier this week, possibly in the hopes of luring away customers. The crux of the issue seems to be that Google Checkout directly competes now with Ebay’s Paypal system.

PR 8 Links from Only $1,995

As the debate over paid links continues in reaction to Google’s recent line in the sand it may shock many that Google is currently offering paid links on for the very reasonable price of just $1,995 – and as an added bonus you’ll also receive a free Google Mini.

Yesterday while digging through a competitor’s backlinks for a client I noticed a domain that seemed remarkably out of place: In addition to adding themselves to a large number of low quality directories, the competitor had discovered that if you purchase the Google Mini you have the privilege of contributing to their exceedingly large list of “customer success stories“. While many of these success stories are for established and recognizable businesses who sincerely appreciate the advanced search capabilities the Mini provides, others are undoubtedly as pleased with their new link as their new Google Mini.