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Yahoo! has launched a new local advertising search product called Featured Listings. You can see it here on the product page.

The advertising product is a fixed ad unit that is sold by position across all local categories. There are "North" positions above the fold and "South" positions below the fold. On each page there are a total of six ads that range in price depending on city (or region), category, search volume and placement. Prices are: $300, $100, $50, $30 and $20.

According to Yahoo! during a call today, "the pricing has been simplified to make it easy for advertisers and resellers." Yahoo! has numerous reseller agreements and we expect more soon. Especially since the placement strategy is similar for offline Yellow Pages. Hmmm …

Yahoo! is clearly merchandising the ad product above the fold to drive self sign-up. Notice the "Advertise your business here" on this page. This is a good strategy that allows Yahoo! to cross merchandise Featured Listings with other product opportunities. Yahoo! is taking full advantage of its local traffic. In March, comScore reported that the Yahoo! Local Network (inclusive of Yahoo! Maps, Yahoo! Local and Yahoo! Yellowpages) had 28.77 million U.S. visitors compared with Google Local/Maps at 19.1 million U.S. visitors.

Our research shows that keyword bidding and multiple term selection are confusing for many SMEs. We expect this product to have good uptake because of its simplicity, fixed position and relatively low price point. These attributes work well for both resellers and merchants that use self sign-up.

Here are a few advertisers that came through self-registration process:

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