Yahoo has unveiled an online hybrid search and display advertising model in a bid to boost its dwindling share of the search advertising market.
Yahoo Search Direct is intended to help the vendor catch up with market leader Google and to stem an increasing loss of traffic to Microsoft’s Bing. According to researcher eMarketer, Yahoo’s share of the search advertising pie will drop into single digits this year, from 10.4% in 2010 to 8.1% in 2011.
Bing’s chunk of the sector, on the other hand, is predicted to grow from 10.2% last year to 10.8% this, while Google’s is forecast to jump to 75.2% from 71.4%.
But Yahoo hopes that Search Direct will help to boost its flagging advertising sales. The company is already gauging interest among the advertising community for displaying targeted marketing messages in a pop-up box that appears when users search for certain content such as the weather or cinema listings.
Shashi Seth, Yahoo’s head of search and marketplaces said that advertisers could pay to display graphical or video adverts inside the box as well as its more traditional text ads, which currently appear beside search results.
"Over the course of the next couple of months, you’re probably going to see some of these ideas at play," he said, adding: "I want you to remember three words: ‘Answers, not links’."
Like Google Instant, Search Direct also predicts possible ways of completing a search term as the user types and brings up related results at the same time in an attempt to speed the activity up.
Yahoo outsourced large parts of its search operation to Microsoft in 2009 under a 10-year revenue-sharing deal. It had a similar arrangement with Google between 2000 and 2004.