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Yahoo Includes Images and Video in Ads

Posted on 2.18.2009

The New York Times is reporting that Yahoo plans to introduce video and images into paid search ads. Couple that with Comscore indicating that Yahoo! increased its search share while Google slid (albeit slightly), and you may want to start taking Yahoo! seriously once more.

With a real push toward Universal Search on SERPs over the past few years, paid advertising never really caught up and was typically restricted to only text and links. The new Rich Ads in Search offering, which should be announced later today, gives traditional search ads a way to distinguish themselves and ideally improve the click-through rate of ads. It sounds good for advertisers and Yahoo!, which for many years has focused on and specialized in display banner advertisements. The word on the street is that advertisers were experiencing a 25 percent increase in click-through rates, but as with anything, that percentage increase will be dependent on the actual advertiser.

From the New York Times article, “It moves the advertising experience from just the blue links, to a more engaging experience for advertisers,” said Tim Mayer, vice president for search monetization and distribution at Yahoo!. Early reports (remember, this has not been publicly announced yet) indicate that there will be a monthly charge for the service and that it will be initially limited to larger, more notable brands such as SoBe, Pepsi and Pedigree. If Yahoo! really wants to make a play for some of Google's paid search market share, they would extend the program to more advertisers. Based on Yahoo!'s past actions, that's not something you should assume.

You can search for Pepsi, Pedigree or SoBe to see the rich search ads in action.

Here are a few images to give you an idea:

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