Advertisers will spend 2.3% more -- about $3.28 billion -- in the U.S. to advertise on Yahoo this year, and 7% more -- about $1.23 billion -- on its search advertising business. That may be due to several patents the United States Patent and Trademark Office recently granted Yahoo.
The Yahoo patents point to a mobile authentication framework that ties in desktop content and searches; cluster cookies for identifying unique mobile devices; several tools for using social network information when showing reviews; and a search system for identifying similar media objects when user ratings are known, such as the process used by Internet radio service Pandora to identify two similar songs.
Traditional media discovery methods, such as searching for a track by artist, album or title, are no longer sufficient because the listener becomes restricted to what they already know, according to the patent.
Yahoo began stepping up its position in music at SXSW in March. The company launched Yahoo! On The Road, a daily mobile entertainment and innovation festival being held from New York to San Francisco and from Berlin to London that aims to show advertisers and marketers they can reach existing and new consumers through search, media and music. The festival will run from May 3 to July 14.
There is also a patent describing a three-dimensional Web site, in which the object has a "surface that corresponds to an amount of accessible content of the one or more Web sites. Each location of the surface corresponds to a particular content item/asset of the one or more Web sites."
One of the more interesting patents recently granted describes a method to associate "credentials" or other user information to link mobile devices with Web services or user accounts, similar to the way Google links access to someone's accounts whether on a mobile device, Google TV or desktop machine. It aims to tie together search engine queries, calendar applications, media organization applications, email, chat and messaging applications -- whether on a mobile device, TV or desktop machine.
Still, Google Sites ranked as the No.1 property in February with 189 million visitors, followed by Yahoo Sites with 186 million, Microsoft Sites with 164 million and Facebook with 144 million, according to comScore.