Yahoo Ditches European Contextual Ads, Focuses on Search

clickz_ukandeu.gifYahoo is ditching its European contextual ad product, and concentrating efforts on its search and display business, the company confirmed yesterday. Content Match, which places contextual text ads on pages of Yahoo’s Publisher Network in a similar way to Google’s AdSense, will now close throughout Europe by the end of March.

In a statement e-mailed to ClickZ News, a Yahoo spokesperson said, “By focusing our efforts on Sponsored Search and Display Solutions in Europe, we strengthen our commitment to deliver advertisers a high ROI and underline our mission to be an advertiser’s ‘partner of choice’ to meet their marketing objectives.”

The spokesperson said the decision was no indication the product was likely to be withdrawn from the U.S. market.

The news comes just days after Yahoo announced the appointment of its new CEO, Carol Bartz, among renewed rumors of a potential search deal with Microsoft. According to Dow Jones, however, Bartz told employees on Wednesday that her “gut instinct” was not to sell, but added that she had spoken with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in the previous 24 hours.

Speaking with the media on Wednesday, Bartz did not mention Microsoft, and said it was too early for her to discuss the future of the company. She did, however, say she intended to give the firm “some friggin’ breathing room,” and added, “Everyone on the outside’s been deciding what it should and shouldn’t do. That’s going to stop.”

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