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It's official: Yahoo has purchased popular blogging platform Tumblr for more than a billion dollars - $1.1bn to be exact.
The internet's latest nine-figure acquisition is probably one most industry observers wouldn't have predicted.
After all, despite that an ex-Googler, Marissa Mayer, is at Yahoo's helm, there were few prior indicators that she was looking to make a billion dollar purchase.
And if there had been, Tumblr, while incredibly popular, doesn't seem like the company that would have made it to the top of the list as Yahoo's track record with acquisitions of user generated content startups is not all that impressive.
From Geocities to Flickr, Yahoo has proven to be a master of reverse alchemy in the space, repeatedly finding ways to turn gold to lead.
Online advertising continues to grow by leaps and bounds, but that doesn't mean that life is easy for players in the digital ad ecosystem. In fact, the thriving online ad economy is increasingly complicated.
Unfortunately, things are only going to get more complicated. Need evidence? Look no further than last week's announcement that one of the most popular browser makers, Mozilla, will begin blocking cookies from third-party ad networks by default in Firefox 22.
When Yahoo recruited Marissa Mayer from Google to replace interim CEO Ross Levinsohn, some suggested that Mayer's departure from Google was an indication that she had reached her limit for advancement at the search giant, and that her role at Google was actually not as important as it might have seemed.
Whether the rumors about Mayer's status at Google were accurate or not, one thing was certain: Yahoo was placing a huge bet on the 30-something executive, one that might have been the last such bet it could make.
UK internet users made 2.7bn visits to search engines in December 2012, an increase of 400m visits compared to December 2011.
This represents a 17% increase year-on-year, and confirms that it was a particularly strong Christmas period for search.
Interestingly, the data from Experian Hitwise also shows that Google’s market share dropped below 90% for the second month in a row to 88%; its lowest point for five years.
As a general rule in digital, it seems that when Google and Yahoo get involved in something it is a pretty good sign that it is important.
After many years of skirting around the fringes of performance marketing, recent product launches from these two online advertising behemoths leave no doubt that Online lead generation is finally ready to step out of the shadows and into the limelight.
Back on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, Google News turned 10 years old. Like many other superstars who have spent too much time in the media spotlight, the news search engine needs to check itself into rehab and relook at its news settings.
Maybe then it can figure out why the number of unique visitors to Google News remained flat in the U.S. while Yahoo News has grown dramatically.
Earlier this year, Microsoft created headlines when word broke that the Redmond software giant would enable Do Not Track (DNT) by default in the newest version of its browser, IE10. Although these claims were initially questioned, Microsoft clarified that, in an effort to "balance ease of use with choice and control," it would indeed enable DNT as part of its default settings during Windows 8 setup and IE upgrades.
That set the stage for battle and it didn't take long for the ad industry to respond to Microsoft's approach with harsh criticism.
More than 75% of searches in July resulted in clicks through to websites, underlining just how adept search engines are at delivering relevant content.
Stats from Experian Hitwise show that Bing and Yahoo had the highest proportion of ‘successful searches’, meaning searches that resulted in a click-through, with 84% and 86% respectively.
Ask and Google both achieved a success rate of 76%, however it should be noted that it is increasingly common for Google to give users the answer to a query without them having to click on something.
As part of its new Knowledge Graph that was rolled out in May, Google now shows information relevant to search queries in a column to the right of the search results.
Yahoo's decision to bring in now-former Googler Marissa Mayer to try to lead a comeback of a once-great internet icon has created quite a buzz and has some critics believing that for the first time in years, Yahoo's board of directors may be taking the company in the right direction.
But in my opinion there's already a worrying sign about the recruitment: Yahoo gave her a deal she couldn't refuse.
Just two weeks ago, sources close to Yahoo's search for a new CEO indicated that the ailing internet giant's board of directors was set to put the company's future in the hands of either interim CEO Ross Levinsohn or current Hulu CEO Jason Kilar.
Both prospective CEOs have strong media pedigrees, which suggesed that Yahoo's board was prepared to guide the company down a familiar and not-always-successful ad and content-driven path.
It's no surprise that companies on the consumer internet are collecting a lot of information about their users -- with and without the permission of those users. And that means there are plenty of databases that make an attractive target for hackers.
Unfortunately for users, many of those databases aren't secured properly, and as we've seen time and time again, best practices for how certain pieces of information, such as passwords, are stored go unfollowed.
Apparently the next CEO of Yahoo will not be current Hulu CEO Jason Kilar. He reportedly isn't interested in the job, and one of the reasons may be that he has a new friend in Facebook.
According to the New York Post, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is considering Kilar for a senior role at the world's largest social network. His job: get Big Media to 'like' Facebook.