Yahoo! Pushes Small-Biz Online Marketing

  |  October 1, 2003   |  Comments

The portal wants small businesses to try online marketing, even if it means their using a rival offering.

Yahoo added another piece to its evolving small-business strategy on Wednesday by rolling out a suite of online marketing services that includes products from Yahoo rivals like Google and Shopping.com.

Yahoo Small Business customers can now create accounts for online marketing with a half dozen marking providers, with services ranging from product-search listings to pay-per-click listings to keyword tracking. What's striking is Yahoo has partnerships to provide rival's services.

"The bottom line for us is we want our customers to be successful online," said Rich Riley, vice president and general manager of Yahoo Small Business. "We want to provide that with Yahoo services, but we don't want to stop there."

To get there, Yahoo partnered with Google to give Small Business customers the ability to set up AdWords accounts and receive a $50 discount. Yahoo offers the same for listings on Overture, which it bought in July.

Likewise, Yahoo Small Business has discount offers for including products on product search sites BizRate and Shopping.com. Just last week Yahoo launched its own product search engine. Yahoo rolled out a variety of e-commerce services for merchants.

Yahoo will also offer business and consumer lists via infoUSA and keyword tracking through KeywordMax. Yahoo Small Business already offers a number of homegrown services, such as Inktomi paid inclusion, Yahoo Yellow Pages listings, and directory inclusion.

Riley said Yahoo hoped in the future to bundle Yahoo marketing services, like those it rolled out last week for online merchants. In such a scenario, Yahoo could be a one-stop shop for small businesses, offering business services that range from Web hosting to online storefronts to paid listings. Riley said more partnerships could follow, depending on the needs of its small-business customers.

"This is not the end point," he said. "We'll continue to make our online marketing capabilities better."

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