Thursday, October 26, 2006

Combining Yahoo! Mail and YPN

Yahoo's latest financial performance was disappointing according to the CEO, Terry Semel. Besides losing the search battle with Google, what must be worrying for Yahoo is that some of its other lucrative revenue streams also seemt to taking a hit.

However, closely following the financial results, Yahoo announced that it has started inviting advertisers in the US to test out the new search marketing platform (code named Project Panama, which had been delayed for some time). Yahoo is banking on improvements to its search marketing platform to ensure that it does not lose any further ground to Adwords and the Microsoft AdCenter (ideally, they'd want to capture some market share).

I wonder if Yahoo is missing out on a big revenue opportunity with search marketing. As we know, Yahoo launched YPN (the equivalent of Google's AdSense program) some time back; it has probably the most popular web-based e-mail system in the world. How come Yahoo hasn't tried combining YPN (or the contextual ad distribution) with its e-mail system, which recently underwent some major changes? True, the free Yahoo Mail is monetized with other banner advertising, but is Yahoo missing out by not displaying contextual text ads, which it should be able to... While I don't know how much money Gmail brings in for Google, with the kind of user base that Yahoo Mail has, there does seem to be a case for experimenting with something similar, isn't it?

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