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Yahoo to Start Tests of Ads on Blog Sites ! - 8/3/2005 1:22:19 AM   

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Call it the battle of the blogs. Yahoo is testing a system that will let it place ads on Web sites of bloggers and other small- and medium-size publishers, a market that was created and is dominated by Google.

Yahoo will invite 2,000 sites to take part in the test, beginning today, and will open the system to blogs and other publishers by the end of the year.

Both Google and Yahoo have hundreds of thousands of advertisers who bid to associate their small text advertisements with certain terms on Internet searches. Two years ago, Google reached out to publishers - mainstream media companies and bloggers alike - with technology that can analyze the content on a given page to select related ads.

Google places ads on hundreds of thousands of sites, industry specialists say, including big sites like The New York Times on the Web and myriad small blogs and specialized sites. Indeed Google has been an important contributor to the vast proliferation of Web logs as it has been able to provide at least some income for even small-time bloggers.

Yahoo has a much smaller program, working with a few hundred sites like Yahoo says its new small-site service will let a Web site specify what categories of advertising it does or does not want on a given page. Moreover, Yahoo will offer a telephone number that even small publishers can call for help, something that Google does not make readily available.

Yahoo appears to be focusing on a weakness in Google's offering for small publishers, said John Battelle, a blogger and author of "The Search," a book on Google and its rivals to be published in September by Portfolio Hardcover.

"Google is the 800-pound gorilla and until now there aren't even any chimps around," he said. "You hear two complaints over and over again: They are a black box and you can't get anyone on the phone to help you."

Source : NY Times
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