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Viacom And Yahoo Strike Web Advertising Deal

Yahoo will serve sponsored search and contextual ads across Viacom's 33 broadband Web sites, and the deal may later be expanded to cover some 140 Viacom sites worldwide.

Viacom and Yahoo on Tuesday announced a multiyear partnership in which Yahoo will serve sponsored search and contextual ads across Viacom's 33 broadband Web sites. The deal may later be expanded to cover some 140 Viacom Web sites worldwide.

Terms weren't disclosed. In February, Viacom sites worldwide saw some 76.6 million unique visitors, age 15 or older, according to Internet metrics company comScore.

Viacom president and CEO Phillipe Dauman praised the "impressive strides" Yahoo has made with its new Panama search marketing platform.

It's not as if Viacom had much of a choice. Having recently sued Google for massive copyright infringement on YouTube, Viacom couldn't very well shake the hand it's biting. That left Microsoft and Yahoo as the most credible search ad partners. Between those two, Yahoo is far better established in search marketing.

Prior to Panama, search advertisers that offered the most money for keywords received the highest placement on Yahoo search results pages. But Google proved that giving some preference to better performing ads resulted in better revenue. So Yahoo built this capability -- ad quality measurement -- into Panama as part of its effort to make more money from its ads.

Yahoo's investment in better ad technology appears to be paying off. Shortly after Panama launched in February, comScore reported an improved click-through rate for Yahoo ads, validating Yahoo's effort. And now with Viacom coming onboard, Yahoo's prospects look even better.

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