Search Biz: Yahoo & AOL, Again?; IAB On Ad Revenues; Debating Google’s Evilness & More

Does anyone want to dance with Yahoo? Well, Bloomberg is reporting that Yahoo is continuing to talk with Time Warner about buying AOL. The report says the two companies have met “in the past few weeks,” and are discussing a plan where AOL’s advertising business would be given to Yahoo in exchange for Time Warner receiving a stake in the combined company. Spokespersons for both Yahoo and Time Warner declined to comment on the report.

Do you see the cup as half-full or half-empty? Despite the troubled economy, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced today that Internet ad revenues were nearly $5.9 billion in Q3 of this year — that’s up 11% over Q3 of 2007, and up 2% over Q2 of this year. The IAB says the $5.9 billion in Q3 is the second-highest quarter results ever. Says David Silverman of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP: “… a weakening economy will continue to be a challenge to all forms of advertising-supported media. However, the Internet should be better poised to withstand the storm given its ability to combine performance-based advertising along with broad-based branding.” That’s the half-full argument. But, if you see the glass as half-empty, you can look at these numbers and see that the revenue numbers for 2008 are pretty much flat, and that the growth rate of online ad revenue is about half of what it was in 2007.

Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” mantra was the subject of a healthy debate this week in New York. According to the NY Times, two teams debated whether or not Google has violated it’s unofficial motto. Before the debate began, 20% of the audience said “yes” Google does violate its motto, while 31% said no (the others were undecided). After the debate, however, the audience vote was a dead heat: 47 percent said “yes” and 47% said “no.” There’s even a PDF transcript of the event for your enjoyment.

Speaking of Google, the company’s major contribution to Mozilla’s revenues may lead the latter to lose its status as a non-profit organization. According to TechCrunch, the IRS is auditing the Mozilla Foundation and at issue is whether the Google-related dollars should be treated as royalties or revenue. If it’s the latter, the foundation can say goodbye to being a non-profit organization.

Finally, local advertising company WebVisible has announced the acquisition of Adapt Technologies, a company that makes web-based SEM management tools. In their announcement today, the companies say their clients “will benefit from an expanded solution that gives additional controls over campaign management, optimization and analytics reporting.”

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Search Biz | SEM Industry: Acquisitions


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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