Yahoo’s New Ad Network

Personalized content targets Web publishers

Yahoo’s websites aren’t getting the face time with users that they used to. The slip in time spent on the company’s websites is bad for business, but Yahoo decided that if the readers won’t come to it, it will go to the readers. The Internet company is targeting website publishers for new software that suggests content to readers based on their individual interests.

The new content personalization ad software is part of Yahoo chief executive Carol Bartz’s larger effort to boost revenue growth. Since joining the company in 2009, she has trimmed some of the company fat, but Yahoo’s partnership with Microsoft has yet to prove fruitful and the company is looking toward the new advertising initiative to increase the company's annual revenue. Simply, the content personalization project offers users content that matches their personal interests with the aim that they will spend more time on the site, allowing Yahoo to sell more expensive advertisements accompanying the content.

Content personalization is not a new area for Yahoo. The company already uses the technology to keep readers engaged for longer times on its own sites. However, skeptics of Yahoo’s latest efforts say the company hasn’t shown it can export its technologies to external sites successfully. But there is no conclusive word from website publishers yet.

The company started to court advertisers and publishers alike, pitching widgets that allow the personalization technology to interact with the sites smoothly. It is not yet known if any publishers have signed up to use the service, but some familiar with the initiative believe it will likely attract smaller and middle-sized sites that may not have the capacity or data to create something similar themselves.