Aug 032005

Why should Google have all the fun, and all the bucks? Yahoo has decided to roll out its contextual advertising program today in order to compete with Google AdSense head-to-head. What this means is that publishers will be able to display Yahoo advertisements on their websites in lieu of Google ads.

When I say, in lieu, I mean that according to both Google’s and Yahoo’s terms of service agreements, each requires exclusivity for displaying ads on a website. Neither one, it seems, wants to feel claustrophobic and fight for ads space with each other in close quarters.

Like AdSense, the Yahoo Publisher program will let a webmaster display ads relevant to the content of the website, display public service announcements when none of these ads are available and track the earnings throughout the day. Unlike AdSense, though, Yahoo intends to offer some additional features not yet integrated into Google’s advertising program. According to Yahoo, this means publishers will be allowed to, “Integrate other Yahoo! services into your web site, including Add to My Yahoo! (RSS), Y!Q and much more to come.”

For advertisers this means yet another method in which to target their ads to a specific market. For those publishers, especially those who are concerned about carrying all their eggs in one basket by only carrying Google Adsense on all of their websites, the Yahoo Publisher Network will offer a viable alternative to diversify advertising assets. In today’s Internet publishing world, diversification is key to survival, so the YPN network will help many publishers survive and thrive for the foreseeable future.