Weekly Digital News Roundup: May 31-June 4
Tumblr Adds In-Stream Ads Online in First Post-Acquisition Bid to Grow Revenue
- According to AdAge, a week after Tumblr was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion, the blogging platform has announced that it’s cranking up its ad business further. Tumblr will roll out its first sponsored web posts next month, and they’ll be integrated into users’ streams, which until now on the desktop version of the site have only been populated with content posted by other users they follow. It’s an inevitable move, but one that also seems bound to stir up Tumblr’s most devout users, who were already worried about the platform’s new corporate parent hurrying to commercialize it.
- It’s also anticipated that having Yahoo’s sales force at its disposal will help Tumblr’s ad business expand quickly. Yahoo has about 2,500 salespeople, compared to Tumblr’s pre-acquisition 25, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said during a call last week. She and Tumblr founder David Karp also said that Yahoo would introduce new “native” ad formats to Tumblr, but today’s web ads are clearly part of Tumblr’s pre-existing roadmap.
- The seven advertisers testing the web ads in beta are Viacom, Ford Motor Company, Universal Pictures, Capital One, AT&T, Denny’s (whose ad is an animated GIF) and Purina. As with users of Tumblr’s iOS and Android apps, desktop users will see up to four sponsored posts per day, and they’ll be demarcated with a dollar sign shooting out rays of light.
Google Penguin 2.0 Update is Live
- According to Search Engine Watch, webmasters have been watching for Penguin 2.0 to hit the Google search results since Google’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts first announced that there would be the next generation of Penguin in March. Cutts officially announced that Penguin 2.0 is rolling out late Wednesday afternoon on This Week in Google. “It’s gonna have a pretty big impact on web spam,” Cutts said on the show. “It’s a brand new generation of algorithms. The previous iteration of Penguin would essentially only look at the home page of a site. The newer generation of Penguin goes much deeper and has a really big impact in certain small areas.”
- In a new blog post, Cutts added more details on Penguin 2.0, saying that the rollout is now complete and affects 2.3 percent of English-U.S. queries, and that it affects non-English queries as well. Cutts wrote: “We started rolling out the next generation of the Penguin webspam algorithm this afternoon (May 22, 2013), and the rollout is now complete. About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user might notice. The change has also finished rolling out for other languages world-wide. The scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.”
- He detailed that the new Penguin was specifically going to target black hat spam, but would be a significantly larger impact on spam than the original Penguin and subsequent Penguin updates have had.
Twitter Prepping Ad-Retargeting Exchange to Rival Facebook’s
- According to AdAge, Facebook waited until after its public offering to go after the digital ad dollars tied up in display retargeting with last summer’s launch of Facebook Exchange (FBX). Twitter, reportedly planning an IPO for early next year, looks to follow suit — but perhaps in a different order. The micro-blogging platform is planning to erect an exchange similar to FBX that would let brands retarget people who visit their sites with ads on Twitter, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
- With an exchange, Twitter would benefit from advertisers’ growing adoption of display retargeting and, more broadly, the practice of buying online advertising through exchanges via automated real-time auctions. “More advertisers today are ready to make bigger bets with retargeting and exchange-based buying because they’re up to speed with Facebook or Google or Yahoo or AOL,” said eMarketer’s VP-communications Clark Fredricksen.
- An ad exchange wouldn’t be the first time Twitter borrowed from Facebook’s ad-product playbook. Although Twitter was the first of the two social networks to show ads in users’ feeds and to offer keyword targeting, it has also introduced a number of ad products over the last year that Facebook had previously launched, such as interest-based targeting, an ad API and the opening up of its self-serve platform.