Yahoo Tidbits From Search To Display


Will search engines become liable for searchable content? If courts around the world continue to protect rights holders and follow the Court of Rome's decision on the liability of search engines, they might. The IPT Italy Blog points to a case brought to court related to the movie "About Elly." The problem stems from the engine providing a link that allowed searchers to reach a Web site that let people stream or download the movie.

While the director, Asghar Farhadi, brought an interim injunction against Google Italy S.r.l., Microsoft S.r.l., and Yahoo Italia S.r.l., the courts dismissed the former two, suggesting the "Italian companies of such groups did not have an active role in the management of the search engines." Yahoo was held liable based on the European Union (EU) E-Commerce Directive 2000/31/EC, which focuses on caching content.

The decision seems to focus on an interpretation of the EU's E-Commerce Directive. Apparently, the Court of Rome thinks of Yahoo as a "caching provider" that must block links to content once notified of the infringement. The engine must remove all links in its index that can reach the content.

Meanwhile, in display news, Piper Jaffray analysts checking in with Yahoo to determine whether its home page display ads sold at a higher CPM with guaranteed placements by its sales team, compared with performance ads supplied by an ad network or other third party, found that 61% of the ads were sold in March 2011, compared with 60% in the year-ago month. Yahoo experienced 76% coverage in February 2011, and in January, 50%.

Aside from tracking guaranteed ads on Yahoo's home page, Piper Jaffray looks at the number of rich page takeover units, expandable ads or ads with elements that extend outside banner units, and log-in page sponsorships. About 17% of the ads seen on the home page were rich takeover units, which compares with 25% in February; 14%, January; 23%, December; 52%, November; and 26% October.

Although Piper Jaffray notes that Yahoo has become more aggressive when it comes to selling log-in page sponsorships, the firm shows a slight decline in March 39% for the log-in page, including a sponsorship, compared with 50% in February; 21%, January; 50%, December; 48%, November; and 13%, October.


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