Yahoo! to Start Partnering with Google on Contextual Targeting

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Man, it’s been a crazy week in PPC.  And it keeps getting crazier.

Yesterday Yahoo! announced that they’re adding Google as an ad partner for contextually targeted ads on the display network.  They say that they agreement is “global” and “non-exclusive” and that it includes placements on “various Yahoo! properties” along with “certain co-branded sites.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, “finance, sports and news sites”  are included amongst the sites that will now start serving Google ads.  (It’s still weird to me to see major publications take notice of our esoteric little corner of the internet, even though the deal involves two giant American companies.)

All of the press releases that I’ve read about this partnership makes sure to hammer home that this partnership centers around contextually targeted ads.  I’m still trying to decide if that’s just because non-PPC people understand the word “contextual” and they’re choosing to omit things like interest category or topics, or if that’s because the agreement truly limits the Google ads to contextual targeting alone.

I’m personally curious as to whether or not things like the Display Campaign Optimizer will be allowed to serve ads on the Yahoo! sites.  I’m going to be personally keeping a close watch on my placement reports for Yahoo! properties to start popping up.  I’m also unsure of when this will actually start happening, as the Yahoo! blog post doesn’t mention a date for the partnership to kick off.  I haven’t seen any new placements yet, but maybe it’s already happening.  Let us know in the comments.

As to how PPC’ers should feel about this development – I’m personally excited about it.  Contextual campaigns do great for me, so more inventory is music to my ears.  I’m a little leery of Google getting even more market share, especially considering the rug they just pulled out from under us in terms of mobile, but the Yahoo! inventory seems like pretty prime stuff.

I took a sales call from Yahoo! display recently where they boasted about the quality of their sites and I got suitably excited.  Then, when they elaborated on their minimums (which were super high) and their site transparency (which they don’t offer), I got a bit less excited.  Now that I’m able to get my grubby little mitts on some of that sweet, sweet inventory without the minimums, I’ll see what the Yahoo! network is truly capable of.

It’ll also be interesting to see if Yahoo! sites also end up actually showing their true URLs in placement reports.  We could all just see a lot more anonymous.google showing up there, as well.

Be aware, the Google Display Network just got a bit more display-y.  Let us know how this change strikes you or how those placement reports start looking with this new partnership.

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