San Francisco: Yahoo, after years of battling Internet rival Google for online advertising, said it would launch a limited test of Google’s AdSense for Search service.
The announcement drew a sharp response from Microsoft, which warned that a Yahoo-Google partnership would cover some 90% of online advertising.
The test is expected to last up to two weeks and will be limited to no more than 3% of Yahoo search queries, Yahoo said in a statement Wednesday. The programme will deliver Google ads alongside Yahoo’s own search results.
The Sunnyvale, California-based company said the test will apply only to traffic from yahoo.com in the US and will not include Yahoo’s network of affiliate or premium publisher partners.
Yahoo said the testing does not necessarily mean it will “join the AdSense for Search programme or that any further commercial relationship with Google will result”.
Yahoo is also fighting off a takeover bid from software giant Microsoft, arguing the offer undervalues the Internet firm.
Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, said in a statement: “Any definitive agreement between Yahoo and Google would consolidate over 90% of the search advertising market in Google’s hands.”
He added: “This would make the market far less competitive, in sharp contrast to our own proposal to acquire Yahoo. We will assess closely all of our options.”
Smith said Microsoft remains committed to a $44.6 billion takeover offer for Yahoo.