Yahoo Betas Publishers Network

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Yahoo launched a somewhat exclusive beta on Wednesday for their Publisher’s Network contextual ad program. The program was created to combat Google’s dominance of the small and medium publisher market but the initial beta is by invitation only.

The Yahoo blog said this was done by invitation only to help refine and improve the program. The blog entry discussed much of the feedback from the alpha run on the system and a number of factors came out. A desire for more ways to enhance the content of the sites and connect with users; a demand for more control over how the ads appear and what types of ads appear on the sites and more accessible customer service for publishers.

Yahoo said they’ve addressed those needs in the beta version. They said the self-serve system offers new sources of revenue with the Content Match contextual advertising system and one stop access for unique Yahoo products like Y!Q beta and “Add to My Yahoo!”

A blog called Jensense, specializing in contextual ads, got in on the ground floor of this beta and has gone into a fair amount of information posted on her blog about it. She goes into a fair amount of detail about her experience in putting the initial ads together and the interface for the preparing it for her website.

One thing she discusses is the ad units themselves. She felt AdSense was stronger because you have four ads with their boxes and YPN only has 3. She also said targeting was off a bit but is hopeful it will get better as time progresses.

Based on her initial assessment, this is still very much a beta version and certainly requires some polish but then again that’s the point of betas. As the Internet ad market continues to grow, the small to medium publisher group will be a major portion of that ad revenue as it’s quite possibly the fastest growing segment on the Internet right now. With millions of blogs already up and running and millions more around the world expected to appear, I’m quite surprised Yahoo hasn’t put something together well before now.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Yahoo Betas Publishers Network
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