Reinforcing the old saying that content is king, Yahoo has decided to purchase Associated Content. This move puts a network of over 380,000 freelance content creators at their disposal. According to Yahoo, Associated Content boasts 16 million unique visitors each month. AC's editorial staff picks through 50,000 articles, images, and audio and video clips every month. Yahoo will be able to leverage this never ending flow of original content to drive traffic to it's search engine and web properties. This traffic should help to boost ad revenue.
"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," said Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz in a statement on Tuesday. - via BusinessWeek
The specific terms of the deal have not been disclosed at this time, but sources say Yahoo shelled out around $90 million. The deal should be finalized by the third quarter of this year. While this seems like a win for Yahoo as it competes with it's long time rival AOL, many feel this may have been a bad decision. Associated Content does generate a lot of content, but some think this is at the expense of quality.
It looks like Carol Bartz has decided that the way for Yahoo to survive is to add to the proliferation of content that is being produced for the sole purpose of garnering search traffic. That ‘content’ is often just glorified keyword wrappers that do little to actually help a reader but plenty to sucker them into an advertising trap. via Marketing Pilgrim
As TechCrunch points out, many are also scratching their heads because this move seems to go against their overall strategy and brand image. Many trust Yahoo for the quality of their content, but AC doesn't operate within the same arena. Being open to any content creator, you will inevitably come across things that just don't make the grade.
We will have to wait and see exactly how Yahoo plans to take advantage of this acquisition. Yahoo has already planned to open up the site internationally as it is US-only at the moment. It's possible they have other tricks up their sleeves that may serve to increase the quality of content available. They could also be planning to just leverage the community of content creators in some way. What better type of community to have than one already focused on generating content?