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Yahoo Toolbar Includes Ads And Other Portal Features

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-05-04

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Like most reputable search engines, Yahoo offers a toolbar that gives users the ability to search the web without their browsers pointing to Yahoo Search. However, Yahoo.com is not merely a search engine, it is also a portal. Because of that, Yahoo is offering portal-like features on the latest version of the their toolbar.

As first reported on Rugles' web blog, Yahoo's toolbar features a button that contains links to advertisers. Currently, because of Mother's Day being on Sunday, the advertisers on the toolbar are florists. This discovery has upset some Yahoo users to the point of removing the toolbar altogether.

These ads show when the toolbar is set to "My Companion Toolbar." This setting basically gives users the elements of Yahoo's index page, which is designed like a portal. If users so choose, the advertisement tab has the option of removing it.
The two other toolbar setting are Search Companion and Finance Companion.

The Search Companion Toolbar setting gives the standard options to search, highlight selections, sign in to Yahoo and block pop ups. The financial companion gives users the ability to research stock prices, mutual funds, bonds etc. The toolbar also gives users the option of managing personal finances like bill payment and requesting credit reports.

Yahoo's advertisement tab only appears on the "My Companion" setting. It can be removed from the toolbar by clicking "Remove This Button" from the options list.

Altering the toolbar's appearance and available tabs is done by right-clicking the edit button. Users are then taken to Yahoo's sign in page where they have to sign in before altering the toolbar. After they sign in, they are taken to a page that has a list of options that can be added or removed. They then can select what changes they would like to make and Yahoo saves these preferences and sends them back to the toolbar.

Why this can't be done directly from the toolbar is most interesting.

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