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Yahoo rolling out DIY display ads

By making it easier for small advertisers to get into the display ad game, Yahoo hopes it can add revenue that tends to flow to search ads, which are not its strong suit.

A sampling of Yahoo's new display ad templates. Screenshot by Tom Krazit/CNET

Yahoo is hoping to make it easier for small companies enamored with search advertising to consider display ads.

The company rolled out Yahoo My Display Ads Monday, which it described as "self-serve display ads" for advertisers that can't necessarily justify a creative department or consulting firm to design display ads for their business. The program, which Yahoo is calling a "pilot," only requires those companies to spend $30 a day and lets them pick display ad templates from over 700 models.

For the most part, small businesses with limited budgets tend to like search advertising, which lets them pick keywords specific to their business and spend relatively small amounts of money only when searchers click on their ad. The problem for Yahoo is that those businesses tend to spend that money with Google, which enjoys around 70 percent of the revenue spent on search advertising.

Yahoo hopes to convince those companies to spread the wealth around a bit more by pointing out that display ads can have benefits beyond clicks, such as brand building. It has been trying to convince advertisers that a mix of search and display ads is the best way to get your message across for quite some time.

Advertisers who participate in this program will be able to pay Yahoo per click or per impression, meaning the estimated number of times that ad is viewed.