What Verizon Acquisition of Yahoo means to Digital Advertising Marketplace and Freelance SEO Copywriters


The recent acquisition of Verizon by Yahoo is an indication that the company wants to scale. However, is it sufficient to catapult this company to Google and Facebook league which most freelance SEO copywriters target with their content?

The focus of advertising has been scaling since its advent. Whether digital, print or TV, the leading advertising platforms have always produced more revenue than the percentage share of time of the people would suggest.

Combining AOL and Yahoo provides Verizon with a real scale. However, we cannot tell whether this is sufficient to catapult this platform to the leagues of the behemoths like Google and Facebook.

For some freelance SEO copywriters and internet marketers, this deal present another example of firms working together to combine their technologies under a promise of delivering greater scale while reaching out to the marketers.

Digging deeper reveals information of the story as it unfolds, providing more signals regarding consumers. It is about interests, demographics, locations and purchase behaviors of consumers. These enable marketers to predict what users want so that they can deliver stronger targeting with ads and content.

According to Tim Armstrong, the AOL’s CEO, the force behind Yahoo-Verizon deal is consumer scale of reaching more than one billion users. There is also the 2020 goal of hitting the 2 billion users.

With about one billion active, monthly users, including approximately 600 million mobile users as well as 280 million users of Yahoo email, the company makes sense as a solution when it comes to meeting business objective.

Essentially, Yahoo is facing tech and content competition. The challenge that AOL is facing is taking weaker components and combining them with the AOL assets to create a stronger solution. Content competition provides a great opportunity for freelance SEO copywriters.

Is Verizon capable of competing with major advertising giants?

To answer this question, it’s important to consider the league that Verizon wants to join. For instance, Facebook owns WhatsApp and Instagram. This enables Facebook to log in as well as to target lookalikes or people across these platforms. Yahoo/AOL’s version is messier when Facebook is compared to Yahoo, WhatsApp to AIM and Instagram to Tumblr. Facebook is clearly the all-time winner.

However, in terms of tech, AOL has a fundamentally though aging infrastructure at Advertising.com. This provides an opportunity for targeting audience and optimization of campaigns across the entire inventory of AOL. It is apparent that it’s possible to win back good tech but quality consumer-facing content is far more difficult.

Google owns the search while Facebook owns the social aspect. One is tempted to ask, what can Yahoo+ AOL+ Verizon own? Is their real value in the identity that is claimed around consumer data? It isn’t wise to bet on this. Arguably, competitors like Facebook already have this. Is it tech stack? Most likely no because it is weaker than Google and Facebook which have been built from ground up contrary to being cobbled together.

Combining technology will always be their major challenge and most likely harder than they expect. Throwing one away and rebuilding from scratch is usually easier.

An example of this approach from Google can be seen from Admeld and DoubleClick. In these cases, an already built product existed. However, Google wanted to have its own. Therefore, they froze the products and spent more resources and time in rebuilding and re-launching a stronger product. Out of this rebuilding, ad exchange emerged. It is yet to be seen whether Verizon has the necessary resources, skills and vision for doing the same.

The future landscape

The 2015 eMarketer research indicated that the market for total display revenue was dominated by five companies. Facebook and Google led the pack with 30 percent and 16 percent respectively. Verizon, which included Millennia Media and AOL, accounted for 4 percent of the total revenue. Yahoo accounted for 5 percent only. While ad revenue from Yahoo has been on the decline over the years, this merger can bring Verizon close to 10 percent stake in the total display revenue. This indicates that they are likely to grow their revenue share and also compete in the major leagues.

Currently, there are 3 major players. These are Google, Facebook and Verizon. They compare to the major big TV networks, the NBC, ABC and CBS. All have the same products but their reach and scale are vastly bigger. The weakest of these is even far ahead of a next ad offering.

Going by the history of TV networks, it is easy to predict what might happen. More networks such as Fox emerged. Cable fragmented the market using many channels. Cable is now being disinter-mediated by Over The Top (OTT) through direct distribution on the internet. The same can be anticipated for the three major digital natives.

Verizon uncluttering of inherent messiness combined with proper use of content strategies, power of professional, freelance SEO copywriters and prolonged tech, they can emerge as the legitimate competitor to Facebook and Google. Nevertheless, the present is for current behemoths while there is a possibility that the future will belong to several smaller firms that are already in operation. It’s impossible to stay at the top forever because no entity has ever done that.

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