Yahoo: Our ads are better

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Search giant details new ad system designed to help marketers figure out what and when people plan to buy.

Yahoo’s new ad system is designed to let marketers target prospective consumers not only by the search terms the people use, but also by their demographics, location and what they do on other areas of the Yahoo network, executives said.

The system, scheduled to launch in the U.S. in the third quarter, offers enhanced ease of use, advanced testing features, geo-targeting and automated analytics, Tim Cadogan, vice president of search, said during the company’s analyst day in San Francisco on Wednesday.

“We’re exposing more data about the quality of advertisers’ listings than any other competitor,” Cadogan said. The system “shows on a five-point scale how well an ad is performing,” as well as which user queries indicate explicit or implied intent to shop, he added.

Yahoo faces stiff competition from Microsoft, which launched its new AdCenter system in the United States a few weeks ago, and Google, which has the largest share of the search ad market.

“There are areas where we needed to catch up; that is well-known,” Cadogan said.

Yahoo can leverage its registered users and broad network of services and sites–which make it the top media Web site on the Web–to improve its advertising sales, he said.

“On the Yahoo network we can find 300,000 consumers who are very likely to be buying a car within the next 30 days,” said Usama Fayyad, chief data officer at Yahoo.

For example, a user’s activity on Yahoo Travel can offer more information about intent to purchase products and services than keyword searches, he said. “Many things you do on the Yahoo network tell us more about your intent…(and) let us allow the marketers to target their dollars better. This is a new kind of targeting.”

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