Yahoo on the Up and Up

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Yahoo has gained a lot of positive attention in the past week. And with increased attention on the eagerly anticipated Yahoo Publisher Network and a significant boost in quarterly revenue, the Internet giant reaffirms that it is still a force to be reckoned with.

With research predicting that the online ad market will grow to $18.9 billion by 2010, it's no wonder that Internet icons Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are competing among themselves, and anyone else who attempts to take a bite out of the online pie, to ensure that they will be the beneficiaries of a significant portion of that profit. Each week brings news of one, if not all one-upping the other with new products, report cards or services.

Yahoo's latest attempt at keeping ahead of the competition comes in the form of increased hype surrounding its Yahoo Publisher Network. While still in beta, YPN is already creating buzz. YPN is the counterpart to Google's Adsense program; the advertising service will analyze a Web site's content and place relevant ads on that site.

It is yet to be seen how the new service will do since many advertisers aren't even aware of its existence. But you can sign up for the service and give it a test drive. One interesting feature that YPN will offer that is actually very similar to a Google Adsense feature (Google Hints) is Ad Targeting. Ad Targeting will not only allow advertisers to receive content relevant ads but will also categorize their Web sites in order to further improve the relevancy of ads displayed.

Yahoo will present an exclusive session for Web site publishers who want to learn more about YPN at WebmasterWorld's Search Engine and Internet Marketing Conference in Las Vegas next month.

Some speculate that the buildup of the YPN beta so long before its scheduled debut sometime next year is a measure by the company to position the new service as one of its main offerings, i.e. big money maker, especially since it will be loosing the nearly $75 million in revenue it is making by providing sponsored ads to the MSN search engine, when that contract expires in June.

But don't feel too sorry for Yahoo just yet. The Internet company isn't exactly destitute. Last week, the company revealed that its quarterly revenues were up 47 percent over last year. The company revealed earnings of $253.8 million, on revenue of $1.3 billion, surpassing analysts' estimates. It's probably safe to assume that Google's third-quarter results, scheduled to be out soon, will be just as celebratory.


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