AOL, Microsoft, & Yahoo! Forming Advertising Pact To Compete With Google

Google has long been leading the online advertising game in terms of impressions and overall revenues by selling ads on both its own search results pages and the long tail of web publishers through its contextual AdSense program. Through these initiatives it sells more ads even than the big content networks such as those of AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo – three companies which have now formed an alliance to cross-sell their remnant (or “Class 2”) ad inventory to boost their own standings in Google’s vast shadow.

It may sound strange that three of the biggest web property owners are taking such an initiative, but they currently send their remnant inventory to display ad networks such as ValueClick Media, Casale Media, and Tribal Fusion. With this pact they could start bundling the inventory from the various sites together to be more attractive to advertisers, and excluding the ad networks and their percentage of the revenues from the ads sold.

Similar initiatives trying to combine the ad inventory of some of the web’s top publishers have been tried before, such as that attempted by News Corp. a couple of years ago – but none have succeeded so far. We’ll be keeping an eye on this initiative to see how it works out once they start implementing it early next year.

[via AllThingsD]

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