Blogs are buzzing today with the news that Yahoo! and eBay will begin sharing resources with each other on things like payment systems, search and advertising. The duo will also begin exploring click-to-call and/or pay-per-call technology as well as a co-branded toolbar. The good news is that the pairing may spell good news for small business owners, especially ones that heavily depend on eBay and Yahoo! stores for their online income.
The primary change taking place is the swapping of graphic ads for payment services. Yahoo! will take over as the sole provider of graphical ads for eBay. That could mean good news for Yahoo! Search Marketing advertisers if Yahoo! decides to integrate a system similar to Google's graphic option in AdWords.
Conversely, eBay will offer up PayPal as Yahoo!'s exclusive online wallet. That's good news for business owners that rely heavily on eBay and Yahoo! traffic for sales. Being able to rely on PayPal in two environments that will be heavily trafficked by users likely to prefer PayPal should make it easier for these companies to do business online.
The move toward click-to-call and pay-per-call technology is also likely to be a positive step for small business owners. It's an area of advertising that is really taking off, with Greg Sterling citing costs-per-call bids as high as $65 in some industries. For small localized businesses used to relying on the yellow pages and newspaper ads for driving leads, a Yahoo! and eBay powered feature could prove highly useful.
It will be interesting to see how this pairing fleshes itself out over the next few months. I have no doubt that both companies see this as a defensive move against Google, but the reality is that we're still seeing two competing companies trying to team up against another competing company. They could make beautiful music together, or it could all end up on a sour note.
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