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2/5/2007
06:45 PM
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Fast And Yahoo Renew Their Search Technology

The two companies independently revised their core business offerings in hopes of slowing down the Google juggernaut.

Fast Search & Transfer and Yahoo rolled out new search advertising platforms on Monday, each hoping to find the answer to Google.

Yahoo introduced the final piece of its Panama project, a new search marketing ranking model that takes ad performance into account when calculating where an ad will be placed on a page.

Previously, Yahoo awarded the best page position to the advertiser willing to pay the most for a given search keyword. But as Google's recent financial filings have shown, ads that not only pay well but play well -- get lots of clicks, in other words -- return better results for everyone.

As Tim Cadogan, Yahoo's VP of search marketing put it, encouraging advertisers to focus on the quality of their ads delivers a better search experience for customers.

However, as Fast sees it, publishers would do better with a search experience that doesn't involve handing over half their revenue to Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo. To help publishers profit (and to drive adoption for its enterprise search platform), Fast has announced Fast AdMomentum, a white-label contextual advertising system that lets publishers manage and monetize search advertising on their sites without a search engine partner.

The goal of Fast AdMomentum, says Perry Solomon, VP and general manager of media solutions for Fast, is "to allow publishers to take control of contextual ads rather than outsourcing them to third-party providers."

AdMomentum allows sites to sell ads locally or nationally through a self-service system that's similar in concept to Google AdWords or Yahoo Search Marketing. Solomon says Fast's new system will enable publishers to develop business intelligence applications to extend search data "beyond the search box."

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