DP Website Gets an Advertising Upgrade

In a press release, Media General mentions that they’re testing out a new online advertising model on the Daily Progress website:

A transforming development occurring in the world of online advertising right now is the deployment of Yahoo!’s targeted advertising technology on our Web sites. This capability opens significant opportunity for our markets and advertisers. Essentially, the Yahoo! technology delivers smart ads to users based on their online behavior. Our pilot site launched in Charlottesville in March. We’ve signed new business in the auto, retail, service and real estate categories as a result. Advertisers are keenly interested in being able to target their message so precisely to consumers who are most likely to buy their product or service. All of our sites will be using this leading-edge technology by the end of the third quarter.

Yahoo only started customizing ads for viewers of their ad network sites in February, the culmination of a disastrous years-long process to duplicate Google’s success in the same market. The move means that while the Progress was once limited to displaying the same advertisements on their entire website, no matter the visitor, now somebody who has read an article about the Dogwood Festival is more likely to see an ad for the event. If this sounds obvious, you’re right—Google and DoubleClick have been providing these sorts of ads for over half a decade. This is good news for the Progress, though, because it increases the value of their online advertising at a time when they very much need to show Media General that they’re a newspaper worth keeping as a going interest.

One thought on “DP Website Gets an Advertising Upgrade”

  1. Having experimented with Yahoo’s behavioral targeting, I can only say it was underwhelming (this was for real estate advertising in a very large and robust market – perhaps the only one left right now). In fact, the Yahoo display ads (which were identical to others run on other sites – including some that were pushed out by Google on a PPC basis) were totally blown out of the water in terms of cost per click and cost per lead by all other options we tested. In fact, the Yahoo behavioral targeted ads generated a grand total of zero leads from over 400k impressions. Via Google we got over 3 million impressions, 6x the traffic, and 20 leads for 30% of the cost.

    Lots of newspapers are pushing these – unfortunately for them, newspapers are really still stuck in the print advertising mindset where CPM rules the roost. It’s too easy for advertisers to collect metrics in near-real time – they no longer need to pay for that big color print ad and hope somebody notices. I’m sure there are people out there who have tested the Yahoo behavioral targeting ads against others and have seen Yahoo win, but I haven’t met them.

    Until and unless Yahoo changes to PPC and allows the advertiser to fine-tune the demographic and geo targeting and until and unless they’re able to provide the near-real time performance metrics that Google offers through Adwords, they’ll be playing catchup and they’ll be at a huge disadvantage.

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