Weekly Digital News Roundup: Feb 6 – 10

Weekly Digital News Roundup: Feb 6 – 10

New Yahoo CEO to Reduce Emphasis on Ads

  • Scott Thompson is faced with the difficult task of making Yahoo relevant again. It looks like the company’s new CEO has a plan: he wants to turn away from advertising and focus on earning revenue from fees and commissions.
  • Thompson announced last month that, as part of his emphasis on non-ad revenue sources, he plans on exploiting the data Yahoo has collected on the hundreds of millions of people that visit its websites each month. According to people familiar with the matter, Thompson is also evaluating whether to continue buying ad-tech companies to compete with Google.
  • Yahoo’s roots are in advertising, but in this instance, Thompson’s background could be working to his advtange. Prior to becoming the company’s latest CEO, Thompson was previously president of Paypal, Inc., and came into the position without any prior online ad experience. Could this be the fresh perspective Yahoo needs?

Survey Says People Don’t Like Google’s Personalized Search Results

  • The market research tool provider, Ask Your Target Market, recently surveyed 400 US adults about their opinions surrounding Google’s new, personalized search approach. The results show that a majority of respondents were feeling negatively about the change.
  • When asked, “Do you like the idea of personalizing search results based on past searches and info from your social networking sites?”, a minority said yes (15.5 percent). But according to SearchEngineLand.com, “a majority were ambivalent or hostile to the idea (84.5 percent). Within that majority 45 percent said they did not want search results personalized at all.”
  • Among other questions asked, respondents answered overwhelmingly with ambivalence or negativity. However, it’s unclear whether this survey accurately reflects the sentiments of the entire U.S. adult population. My guess: people don’t like change, and may take some time to get used to personalized search results. Besides, with all of the personal data being garnered from this approach, it’s unlikely that the company would consider dropping their personalizations.

Experts Dissatisfied with Facebook Search

  • If you were one of the millions of viewers who watched the Super Bowl last Sunday, you might have found a few commercials, including Met Life, asking viewers to “find us on Facebook.” Now a common feature of many brands, Facebook pages have become an important part of the social network; however, Facebook’s search algorithm appears to be lacking, making it difficult for users to locate the pages they’re looking for.
  • David Berkowitz, V.P. of digital agency 360i, found Met Life’s page difficult to find, saying that the listings were crowded with “nothing at all that looks remotely like [the] brand,” a trend which is commonplace for many other prominent brands. A Facebook spokesperson said search results are based on an individual’s social relevance. Tim Peterson of Adweek points out an obvious flaw: ” that means, theoretically, one person searching for Doritos Facebook page could have more luck than someone else, based on their own social graph.”
  • Despite this disconnect, people are still finding Facebook brand pages thanks to Google. A quick search on Google will yield far more relevant results for a brand, including their Facebook page if it’s prominent enough. However, Berkowitz doesn’t think it’s an issue Facebook can tolerate for long because the social network’s search bar is a fundamental feature.


Scott Kaufmann
[email protected]

Scott is Partner at Lucid Agency and a lover of all things technology, marketing, investing and entrepreneurship. Scott volunteers on the board of the Denver-based Nonprofit Celebrate EDU and as a mentor for SeedSpot (a Phoenix-based social startup incubator).

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