Yahoo! Launches Publisher Network

Yahoo's announced today that it is extending its publishing network in the U.S. to small- and medium-sized web sites, including publishers of blogs and other content. Yahoo's Pasadena-based advertising and pay-per-click division said that the extension of its advertising network will allow small and medium-sized web sites to take advantage of the company's network of advertising products, and easy access to other syndicated Yahoo! content and products. The new service is available as an invitation-only beta, and will be a self-serve service along the lines of Google's AdSense program. The company said that the first product offered through the beta will be Content Match contextual listings, a service that is currently used by Yahoo's large distribution sites to provide contextually relevant advertising. Yahoo also said that publishers will be able to tap into the company's RSS feed tools, and a beta of a publisher-branded Yahoo search results tool. The search engine also said that Yahoo is conducting tests to evaluate the ability to place advertising in RSS feeds, one way in which publishers are looking to monetize RSS (Really Simple Syndication)-based publishing streams. The move comes as Yahoo looks to catch up to rival search engine Google. Google has proven how lucrative providing smaller and medium sized sites can be, with it's popular AdSense advertising program. Unlike Yahoo, Google's AdSense program has provided self-serve access to the Google ad network from day one, allowing anyone with a web site with access to advertising. Google also rolled out a co-branded search tool earlier this year that allows content sites to create their own Google driven search pages and receive a share of advertising revenue.