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Yahoo Shows Rich Search Ads With Images and Video



Yahoo is introducing a new type of search advertising that integrates images and video in paid listings, the company plans to announce Thursday.

Search advertising typically shows only text advertisements and links. Marketers usually devote part of their online budget to search — which shows text-only advertisements and links — and part to display, the banner and box advertisements that show images or video.

By introducing video and images, the new offering from Yahoo, called Rich Ads in Search, gives search some of the advantages of banner advertisements. “It moves the advertising experience from just the blue links, to a more engaging experience for advertisers,” said Tim Mayer, the vice president for search monetization and distribution at Yahoo.

Yahoo has been trying to win back paid search advertising from the market leader, Google. Yahoo’s market share in paid search has fallen from 13.8 % in 2004, to 10.5 % this year, according to the research firm eMarketer. In the same time period, Google’s market share has more than doubled, from 32.8 % in 2004, to 67.7 % this year.

Yahoo’s strength has been its display advertising, where it sells boxes and banners on its highly trafficked pages. However, as the recession has deepened, many advertisers have shifted money to search, which gives them direct, measurable results.

Yahoo’s strength has been its display advertising, where it sells boxes and banners on its highly trafficked pages. However, as the recession has deepened, many advertisers have shifted money to search, which gives them direct, measurable results.

Yahoo is charging a monthly fee for the service, versus the auction-based pricing of search advertising, which Mr. Mayer said Yahoo might use in the future. For now, it is allowing only certain large, brand-focused advertisers — which have existing commercials or logos — to participate in the program. SoBe, Pepsi and Home Depot were all part of the pilot program.

Carol A. Bartz, the new chief executive of Yahoo, has not specified her plans for Yahoo’s search business.

“Maybe we should divest of some things, maybe we ought to focus a little more on the company,” she said in a conference call last month with investors. “So, yes, everything’s on the table,”

But, she added, “this is not a company that needs to be pulled apart and left for the chickens.”

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