Category Archives: Advertising

Why Yahoo should stay away from Google

Yahoo is exploring several options for the company’s future, mainly in order to maximize the stock value now that Microsoft wants to acquire them. A merge with AOL/Time Warner is mentioned as one of the alternatives. However, a couple of days ago Yahoo announced that they will start a test of Google’s AdSense for Search Service. I hope this is just a way to demonstrate to the shareholders that they can make more money per user if they have a better ad-network, and not a serious consideration to join Google’s. I’m afraid that the latter is the case however. I mean, they already know that Google’s ad network has a better coverage and relevancy, so why do this test if you’re not seriously considering to outsource the search engine advertising to Google?

So why do I say I’m afraid that Yahoo will join Google’s Ad platform? Simple. That step would give Google a near-total monopoly over the search market. That’s not good for publishers and for the advertisers. It might even be dangerous since Google’s Adwords will then be the only place to go for search engine advertising. Given the fact that the pricing of Adwords is based on an auction-model, I think Google is the only party who will benefit. But, apart from the danger for the online advertising industry, this step would make Yahoo extremely dependent on Google.

Microsoft’s response to the Yahoo/Google deal is a quite logical one:

“Any definitive agreement between Yahoo! and Google would consolidate over 90% of the search advertising market in Google’s hands. This would make the market far less competitive, in sharp contrast to our own proposal to acquire Yahoo! We will assess closely all of our options. Our proposal remains the only alternative put forward that offers Yahoo! shareholders full and fair value for their shares, gives every shareholder a vote on the future of the company, and enhances choice for content creators, advertisers, and consumers.”

It’s clearly bothering Microsoft that they are still such a tiny player in the web search business. Despite the huge investments they made in search technology in the last few years, their US marketshare has decreased from 16.3% in 2005 to 11.2% by August 2007. That’s not very promising. In my opinion they seriously screwed up by renaming all of their online services to ‘something’ Live. Their branding strategy is a mess, and now they want to add Yahoo! to their portfolio as well. I think the Yahoo management understands that a merge with Microsoft would kill the company culture, but, it might be difficult to explain that to the shareholders who will receive $$$ when MS acquires Yahoo.

It’s a tough one, but I would definitely stay away from both Google and Microsoft. A merge with AOL or News Corp. might be an interesting alternative. To be continued (I guess)…

Googleabout – use google without advertisements

I’m not sure if Google appreciates this, but their turns out to be a way to use google without advertisements.
How? Very simple, just start your search at and you will see a nice and clean google.

Now, let’s see what happens when the blogosphere starts encouraging everybody to use this url. I think Google will disable this feature very soon…

Ask to launch adsense competitor

AskAs a part of Ask Sponsored Listings (ASL), Ask will launch a new contextual advertising platform in the week of May 21st. This was confirmed by Paul Vallez, Director of Product Management. This looks like a serious attempt to compete with Google Adsense.

I think Ask perfectly understands the weak point of the adsense platform: transparancy. Many adsense publishers (like myself) will agree that Google is providing minimal information. Publishers have no insight in the revenue share, the performance of individual ads and the type of advertisers. Advertisers have to deal with pretty poor statistics regarding contextual advertising. Ask may have a strong selling point by providing better and transparent tools.

The ‘problem’ remains that publishers will not exchange adsense for ASL when that will decrease their revenue. Transparancy or not, it’s the $$ that count. It will be a challenge for Ask to achieve the same coverage and CPC as Google currently has. I certainly hope they will.

Doubleclick acquired by Google

Wow, that’s what I call a major acquisition in advertising world: Google has bought DoubleClick for $3.1 billion (in cash). That’s 10x the yearly revenue of DoubleClick! This has just been confirmed on the Google blog.

This is immediatly the biggest acquisition of Google (almost twice as much as they paid for YouTube). What could be the reason? I quote from the Google Blog:

This new partnership represents a tremendous opportunity for us at Google to broaden and deepen our inventory of available ads and to better serve both our publishers and users. Together, Google and DoubleClick will empower agencies, advertisers, and publishers to collaborate more efficiently and effectively, which will, in turn, provide a better experience for our users.

Personally, I think the acquistion mainly comes from a strategic point of view. Google must have been really frightened that Microsoft would gain a big marketshare by buying DoubleClick (they obviously outbidded MS).

I wonder how this will influence the current adsense / adwords platform. Google will now also have access to DoubleClicks customers, will we see higher or lower CPC’s?

Ads in Captchas

Very interesting idea of JY, why not put advertising in captchas:
Drinkcoke captcha

pepsi captcha


Google could even create content-matched captchas for adsense publishers! The big advantage is that every visitor is forced to look at it!