Bloat, any which way: They cut back on some old products, and then add more tools to surviving products. Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) is planning to announce that it is adding some more tools to its online search-ad services later today at the IAB conference in Orlando, to help the increasingly skeptical marketers better target their online ads. One will serve targeted graphical ads to users when they search on the slightly stabilized Yahoo search engine. Another is more behavioral targeting: customizing the offers in ads based on what sites within Yahoo a consumer has visited and what the person has done on those sites. Yahoo will also bring out a slightly old concept of dayparting on those contextual text ads against searches, and also base them on factors such as users’ age and gender. And even as its display ad revenues slip, the company will argue for a dismantling of the “artificial boundaries” between display and search, and ask marketers to take advantage of tools such as Yahoo’s search-targeting product to bridge both, according to the story. Yahoo argues that its base of hundred of millions of users means that targeting will still mean reaching a big enough audience to get meaningful result lift.
Some of the other sites/competitors have been using similar functions for a while now, and Yahoo’s timeline for its launch has constantly slipped over the last two years. Even APT, its tool to simplify ad buying across all of Yahoo’s services, has been slowed down by new CEO Carol Bartz. We will have more details from the conference later today from David, who has been covering the conference for us. His posts over the last few days from IAB are here.
Update: The company has released official details, and there are three main products:
— “Search Retargeting”, which gives advertisers the ability to target display ad on the rest of Yahoo based on user search activities;
— “Enhanced Retargeting”, which allows advertisers to deliver dynamically generated display ads across the Yahoo! network based on user activity on an advertiser’s site (say a travel site); and
— “Enhanced Targeting” capabilities for text search advertising, including ad scheduling and demographic targeting within search.