Yahoo Acquires ClarityRay; Keyword Search

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Buying Into Anti-Fraud

Yahoo gobbled up Israel-based startup ClarityRay on Friday for an undisclosed sum. ClarityRay began as an ad-blocking firm, but has since evolved to an ad-security and fraud-detection company. A spokesperson for Yahoo told TechCrunch, "Advertising is an essential part of our business here at Yahoo, and we’re committed to getting it right. ClarityRay is a company with deep expertise in ad-malware detection and prevention. The bottom line for Yahoo is that search is going to get better and safer for users, and advertising will become more reliable and profitable for partners." Read more. LinkedIn says ClarityRay has six employees, and so does a mouseover of the ClarityRay logo here. It’s an acqui-hire for a Yahoo ads future.

Goodbye, Exactness

On Google’s AdWords blog, product manager Jen Huang announced it would not be possible to target exact matches of keyword phrases in Google pay-per-click search ad campaigns. Read the post. Instead, she explained, “In late September, we’re applying close variant keyword matching, an intuitive way to connect people with the businesses they’re searching for, to all exact and phrase match keywords.” So, is this more inexact? Search Engine Land reports that there will be no effect for “97% of advertisers” and taps WordStream’s Larry Kim, who sees efficiency and “a shift towards more object based advertising (think PLAs). [We] are heading towards a ‘keywordless’ world, and this is a step in that direction.” The step is an interesting echo to Google removing the ability to see search engine query data (what phrases and how many) from Google Analytics, for example. Pre-emptive privacy-related moves or circling the wagons around Google’s priceless first-party intent data?

New Yahoo Display

Former Yahoo display ad engineering exec Jeff Minich responds to recent criticism of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and says greener pastures are ahead for Yahoo in spite of what may have appeared to be missteps in the past. He writes in Business Insider, “What I didn’t get then, but understand now, is Marissa most likely made a conscious decision to put the legacy display business on the backburner to focus on building a new, more modern monetization platform capable of driving predictable and systematic long-term growth for Yahoo.” Read more. Meanwhile, Yahoo is slowly taking the wraps off of a self-serve demand-side platform ad tool for Yahoo “premium” ads, says Ad Age’s Tim Peterson.

Global Ad Forecast

GroupM is predicting that global advertising investment will hit $534 billion by the end of the year, the holding company said in its twice-yearly “This Year, Next Year” report. In 2015, GroupM predicts that number to grow by 5%, to hit $560 billion. "Coupled with a rising general confidence and a specific comfort around digital marketing, though notwithstanding some geo-political uncertainty, we are seeing an uplift in some of the ‘older economies’ as well as the new," said GroupM Global President Dominic Proctor in a release. Read on via The Drum.

Tech Corps Accused

The Center for Digital Democracy’s (CDD) Jeff Chester has asked that the FTC investigate a group of tech firms and data brokers concerning potential violations of Safe Harbor data. The CDD lists grievances that include a lack of transparency, disregard for consent and a general breach of Safe Harbor laws. In a CDD statement, 30 companies are accused of "compiling, using and sharing EU consumers’ personal information without their awareness and meaningful consent.” On the list of accused companies are Acxiom, Bizo, BlueKai, Criteo, DataXu, Salesforce.com, Turn and Xaxis. Read more at Gigaom.

Patent Problems

Vringo, cell phone ring-tone vendor turned patent-licensing firm, lost an appeals court ruling, Bloomberg reported Friday. Google launched the case and won its bid to overturn a patent-infringement verdict worth $30.5 million. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit discounted Vringo's claim that its filtering tech brought new insights to ad placements for search, which Google used for its AdWords and AdSense search products. Circuit Judge Haldane Mayer explained the verdict, saying the "claimed system is merely an Internet iteration of the basic concept of combining content and collaborative data. Moreover, the scope of the claimed invention is staggering, potentially covering a significant portion of all online advertising.” Read on.

Amazon Data

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