Yahoo garnered a contextual advertising win by forging a partnership with Adobe to deliver ads inside PDFs.
Under the partnership with Adobe, Yahoo will deliver keyword text ads inside PDFs. The free beta program, announced late Wednesday (statement and Techmeme), will line up text ads to the right of PDF content, just like the Web. With the move, Yahoo grabs some open turf for its contextual ads ahead of Google and Microsoft.
The idea is so obvious it's surprising that this PDF ad fest didn't happen earlier.
For publishers like Wired, IDG Infoworld, Reed Elsevier and Meredith Corp. the program could grab a little extra revenue. For readers, it's unclear whether these keywords will be annoying. I kinda liked PDFs being a mostly ad free zone.
Perhaps a larger question is this: Who reads PDF content from publishers? Most magazines offer PDF versions that can be downloaded, but the numbers aren't exactly huge.
Here's how it works:
A publisher registers online and then uploads Adobe PDF content;
Adobe then matches ads based on keywords in the document;
Publishers can't select specific ads. According to the FAQ: "Yahoo! currently only supports text-based ads that are dynamically displayed, based on the PDF content. Although you cannot select a specific ad, you can use the ad blocking feature to prevent certain advertisers from appearing next to your PDF."
But you can block a competitor's ad. "Ad blocking allows you to specify URLs of ads that you do not want to appear next to your PDF content. You may specify up to 200 URLs to block at the domain and sub-domain level. For example, to block somecompetitor.com ads from appearing, simply enter "somecompetitor.com," says Yahoo and Adobe.
Ads for Adobe PDF supports content created in PDF version 1.1 and above.