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Yahoo shutters blogger ad network

Yahoo is to close its contextual ad service for small web publishers after a bafflingly long 'beta' program.

The Yahoo Publisher Network Online, which competes with Google Adsense, will stop serving ads at the end of April, the company said yesterday.

YPNO was launched in August 2005 and has remained in an open beta test ever since. It was initially received quite well, due to its competitive payouts, but has struggled to compete with the Google juggernaut.

Yahoo said the decision does not affect its large publisher partners, only smaller outfits such as bloggers using its self-service platform.

Affected users report being sent an email recommending Chitika, which has set up a welcome page for erstwhile YPNO users, as a replacement.