Yahoo! Confirms New Ad Platform

It will hone geographic targeting and add pricing options.
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Yahoo!

(YHOO)

unveiled a major renovation of its advertising platform Monday, adding features to improve the specificity of search results and provide more pricing options to its paid-search customers.

The company, which competes with

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

in paid-search, said the first phase of the revamp, the core data platform, is near completion. Initial features of the new platform will be available to customers in the third quarter.

The stock added 47 cents, or 1.4%, to $33.13 in premarket trading Monday.

Features of the new platform will make it easier for Yahoo! customers to monitor and tweak their campaigns for optimum exposure. Yahoo! and Google make most of their money selling ads that are generated by user searches on their Internet-indexing Web sites.

Among other things, Yahoo! plans to hone geographic targeting among searches and search-based advertising; make the process of launching ad campaigns faster; simplify the interface used by advertisers to measure the performance of their ads; and add transparency to advertisers on pricing.

Yahoo! released the application program interfaces, or APIs, for the new system to developers in conjunction with Monday's announcement.

"We've designed our new platform to allow advertisers to reach Yahoo!'s audience through search as well as take advantage of advertising opportunities across all of our unique marketplaces, communications and social-media assets," the company said. "Yahoo!'s new technologies and features should encourage more participation in search advertising by making it easier for marketers to understand the performance of their campaigns and experiment more frequently with the medium."

Yahoo! said the new platform will be deployed on a country-by-country basis, with "multiple phases within each market" to ensure a smooth transition and give developers time to work with the new APIs. Future versions of platform will add distribution options and possibly demographic targeting using online behavior.

"While the enhancements to our platform are dramatic and will provide immediate benefits to our advertisers, we ultimately rebuilt our system with the future in mind," Yahoo! said. "Once the first version of the core platform is in place, we will be able to move quickly to build in capabilities that ultimately will provide search advertisers deeper access to Yahoo!'s more than 420 million users, broader advertising capabilities, proven targeting expertise and global distribution network."