Yahoo Buys Associated Content, Makes An SEO Play

It seems like a match made in SEO heaven: An old, trusted, powerful domain like Yahoo.com and a content factory like Associated Content. That partnership is coming soon thanks to Yahoo’s announcement today that it’s agreed to buy Associated Content. Financial terms were not announced, though some reports peg the sale at about $100 million. Yahoo says the acquisition should be completed in the third quarter of this year.

Founded in 2005, Associated Content has approximately 380,000 contributors who write articles, create videos, or upload audio and more on practically any subject under the sun. How much content does the company produce? According to this recent Econsultancy interview, about 10,000 new pieces of content every week.

In its announcement today, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz calls the deal a “game-changer.”

“Together, we’ll create more content around what we know our users care about, and open up new and creative avenues for advertisers to engage with consumers across our network. These are important aspects of building engaging consumer experiences on Yahoo!, and one of the reasons why we’re one of the most visited destinations online.”

Associated Content has published a FAQ that suggests many of the details are still to be worked out. Yahoo says it plans to scale Associated Content globally; the company is solely U.S.-focused right now.

Yahoo is, of course, getting out of the search business — turning over its search engine to Bing. But in buying Associated Content, Yahoo is making a big SEO play. Hitwise told Danny Sullivan on Twitter a few moments ago that 55% of traffic to Associated Content in April came from Google. The Econsultancy interview I mentioned above cites a comScore statistic: 90% of AC’s 16 million unique monthly visitors come from search.

Irony, thy name is Yahoo.

For related news, see Techmeme.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Top News | Yahoo: Business Issues | Yahoo: Partnerships

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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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  • http://www.seobocaraton.com SEOBocaRaton

    Beginning of the end of Yahoo, more like Yahbloo It

  • http://www.michael-martinez.com/ Michael Martinez

    They had already mentioned they were going to compete with AOL in building content. This deal just explains their strategy.

    In my mind the real question is what kind of exodus (if any) will we see from Yahoo!’s version of Associated Content? They have a tendency to homogenize anything they buy up and drive people away.

  • http://www.greenlaneseo.com Bill Sebald

    I think it’s well played.
    To Michael’s point, they sure can’t afford mismanagement right now.

  • http://managinggreatness.com Gil Reich

    I don’t see anything ironic or inconsistent. Yahoo! is going from being a source of search traffic to being a destination of search traffic. I found it interesting at some recent search conferences that the only Yahoos on the organic side were those telling stories about how they optimized their content pages for SEO. Y! is focusing on becoming a content site. Of course they’re making an SEO play, they’re a web site, not a search engine.

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