Display online advertising is an area where Yahoo! has enjoyed an advantage over rival Google
Display advertising, which consists of banners and rich media ads, is a fragmented sector. Several companies, including ValueClick
AMP -- short for Advertising Management Platform -- will get a good trial run in the third quarter, when the new system is incorporated through the newspaper partners that have teamed up with Yahoo! to beef up local advertising efforts, according to this morning's Wall Street Journal.
A lot is riding on the AMP rollout, especially after the lukewarm reception to its Panama upgrade on the paid-search side. Panama was supposed to transform Yahoo!'s text-ad platform into a more Googlesque product.
Panama hasn't been a disaster, but it could have been better, given Yahoo!'s sluggish online advertising growth. The most telling statistic in the company's most recent quarterly report is that affiliate revenue -- the money that Yahoo! makes by pushing its ad inventory through third-party partners -- fell by 13% over the previous year's final quarter. That's a sharp contrast to the growth that Big G is seeing in its own Google AdSense program.
Then again, display advertising is an area in which Yahoo! takes pride in excelling. The consortium of hundreds of newspapers that have rallied around Yahoo!, as opposed to Google or rival employment-listings publisher Monster Worldwide
Now we'll have to wait and see whether the market wants an encore or earplugs.