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Online advertising could possibly become even more profitable over the next few years as it appears consumers’ trust in ads that show up in search engine results, online video, and social networks appears to be on the rise. A recent report from Nielsen, Truth in Advertising 2013 found that 48 percent of consumers trust these ads, up from previous years.

The report shows that consumers around the world are gradually becoming more accepting and trusting to online media, and advertising from trusted sources is equally seen as trustworthy. Ads on branded websites are now 69 percent trusted this year, making it the second most trusted format. In 2007 it received 9 percent trusted and ranked fourth-place.

The most favorable form of advertising stays the same, with 84 percent of global respondents saying word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family are the most trustworthy.

The survey also found that 42 percent trust online banner ads, compared to 26 percent in 2007, which may be why advertisers spent 26 more percent on this type of advertising in the first quarter of this year, according to ClickZ. Display ads on mobile devices has also gone up, with 45 percent saying they trust these ads more than text ads.

Nielsen Graph

I got an email from Microsoft adCenter promoting the new alliance between Yahoo and Microsoft.  They’re calling it “Search Alliance“.  The aim is to have their online paid advertising fully unified before the 2010 holiday season, although they did say that they’ll wait until 2011 if they “determine this will be more effective”.

Microsoft bought out Yahoo, so now the primary tool behind both search engines will be Bing, and behind the pay per click (and other paid online advertisements) will be adCenter.  The Search Alliance has stated that each company will “continue to have differentiated consumer search experiences”.  Not sure exactly how they’ll pull that off with the same search engine for both, but they may just mean the search interface.

The support will be broken apart, Yahoo supporting the bigger advertisers, and Microsoft will provide support to “self-service” advertisers.  They are combining their platforms for the advertising audience, so ads put together under this new alliance will reach consumers using either search engine.  The Search Alliance brags that advertisers of all sizes will now be able to have access to a combined audience of nearly 577 million worldwide searchers.

At any rate, this is pretty big news – Yahoo and MS pulling together to battle the mighty Google.  I expect this may be an epic battle.