AOL, Yahoo! And Microsoft Form Online Advertising Alliance September 15, 2011 by Brett Prince We could see a big shift in online advertising over the next year, even bigger than projected. Picture the trio: AOL, Yahoo! and Microsoft – a power team working together, selling ads on each other’s sites. The three are uniting, confident that there’s strength in numbers, setting out to battle for some of the lucrative ad market share that Google presently dominates. The plan is to sell each company’s “Class 2 display” inventory, which are leftover banner ads that aren’t really making money, they’re hard to sell. Typically, that inventory would be handed over to ad networks. Under the new plan there can be much more leverage and structure, improving placement quality and therefore maximizing profits. When considering Google’s ad experience, they’re fairly new to the banner ad product, and search advertising still remains as the bulk of their revenue. As many know, Google’s overall ad business is growing much quicker than Yahoo!’s or AOL’s. But guess what? Microsoft’s ad revenue is growing faster than Google’s.