Google Targets Local Content, Ads; Engaging With Ads; The Yahoo! News Deluge

Google Buys ZagatHere’s today’s news round-up… Want it by email? Sign-up here.

Google Adds Local, Foodie Content

Yesterday, Google added to its content portfolio as it acquired Zagat. Not only does Zagat provide a great brand but it gives Google (another) toehold in the local ad biz. On the Official Google blog, exec Marissa Mayer says that among other things, “With Zagat, we gain a world-class team that has more experience in consumer based-surveys, recommendations and reviews than anyone else in the industry.” More automation to come for Zagat? Read it. From the blog of local ad plumbing provider Yext, Eric Vreeland says, “After Google failed to acquire Yelp in 2009 and then failed once again in an attempt to buy Groupon in 2010, this acquisition shows that they aren’t going to stop competing with those local powerhouses.” Read more. TechCrunch says the deal was “under $66 million”.

How Good Is That Ad?

comScore analyst Joshua Ziliak takes readers through comScore methodology for divining successful engagement using qualitative measures. He writes on the comScore blog, “Two critical dimensions of ad engagement are ‘does the ad create a positive impression?’ and ‘does the ad capture and maintain the viewer’s attention?’ To quantify the aspect of a positive impression, comScore utilizes attitudinal measures such as ‘ad likability’ and ‘best I’ve seen recently’.” Read more. Pretty graphs included.

Yahoo! Gloom

Ad Age’s Michael Learmonth brings together the Yahoo! story as display is a recurring theme and so is it’s fall from ad-supported supremacy. Among the topics, Learmonth offers, “Three years ago Yahoo was the undisputed leader in auction-based display with its Right Media ad exchange, which hummed along minting cash. But since then, Yahoo hasn’t innovated.” Read more. Over on Forbes, Peter Cohan provides doomsday scenarios for Aol and Yahoo! who are rumored to be considering combining forces. He says, “You don’t see too many buggy whip companies around these days. (…) like those buggy whip makers of yore, Yahoo and AOL are unable to renew the value they used to create for their customers.” Read it. Finally, on Fast Company, former Yahoo! search guru and current Trada chief strategy officer Tim Mayer gives his views on Yahoo! He says, “The real question has always been around what [Yahoo’s] identity is. How do you create focus when they’re doing so many things?” More here. Forrester’s Shar Van Boskirk offers her bulleted “take” here. It’s not all bleak.

More Yahoo! articles:

Self-Regulation Scrutiny

Self-regulation isn’t good enough for some consumer privacy organizations. A new letter aimed at governmental bodies considering the efficacy of industry self-regulation has been sent on behalf of a large collection of EU and US-based privacy organizations who “reject the current OBA self-regulatory regime as inadequate, and (will) work with industry and consumer and privacy groups to ensure that significant revisions are made to protect consumer privacy.” Read the letter. (PDF)

The Adversarial Ad

On his personal blog, Greg Linden unearths a new paper by six, count ’em six Googlers called “Detecting Adversarial Advertisements in the Wild.” Linden thinks the paper is a “useful example of how to succeed at tasks requiring very high accuracy using a combination of many different machine learning algorithms, high quality human experts, and lower quality human judges.” Read more about adversarial ads. Maybe you should download the paper, too (PDF).

Agency Lost

On Upstream Group’s “Get The Drift” blog, Doug Weaver is concerned agency’s have lost their way. He writes, “Today I think it would be difficult for many agency employees to accurately and simply describe the DNA of the place they work. (…) Perhaps Digitas and Razorfish and Starcom all have well-defined characters – but how many of us understand them?” Read more.


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