A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including YouTube and CNN host the latest democratic presidential debates and in doing so, could change the face of future presidential debates, AOL to acquire behavioral targeting ad network TACODA, Digg signs three year advertising deal with Microsoft, ditching Google in the process, Business.com sold to R.H. Donnelley for $245 million, and finally, Twitter raises initial round of venture capital funds.
- YouTube Could Change the Face of Future Presidential Debates – YouTube combined with CNN held a the latest democratic presidential debates and in doing so created a watershed moment for American politics and a novel mechanism to deliver questions “from the audience.” Democratic presidential candidates took on questions from people who had posted them as YouTube videos. What is even better is that the questions have been archived so that anyone who did not have the opportunity to watch the debate live can do so at any time via the YouTube web site. They also include the almost 3,000 questions that did not make the cut for the live debate.
- AOL Acquires Behavioral Targeting Ad Network TACODA - AOL has entered into an agreement to acquire TACODA, an online behavioral targeting advertising network. Although financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the New York Post is putting the figures between $200 – $300 million according to its sources. TACODA employs advanced technology that enables advertisers to serve highly relevant ads based on consumers’ online behaviors. AOL will be able to extend its targeting capabilities to advertisers and publishers and extend the reach of its third-party display network, currently the largest in the U.S.
- Digg Ditches Google in Favor of Microsoft for Advertising - Digg founder Kevin Rose announced that they have entered into a three year deal with Microsoft to provide display and contextual advertising on Digg. Kevin writes, “We’ve signed on Microsoft as our new partner to sell and serve the ads on Digg. It’s a deal similar to the one Facebook signed with Microsoft last year. This move gives us an advertising partner with a larger organization and a more scalable technology platform to keep pace with Digg’s growth. Best of all, it lets the Digg team completely focus on new feature development.”
- Business.com Finds Itself in the Hands of a New Owner - R.H. Donnelley, a yellow pages and local search firm, has agreed to acquire Business.com for $245 million. If you recall, the site was birthed after Jake Winebaum and Sky Dayton paid $7.5 million for the domain name alone in 1999 – a record breaking amount for that time. After barely surviving the dot com crash in the late nineties, Business.com has survived to become one of the leading B2B verticals on the planet. Learn more from the official press release.
- Twitter Raises Initial Round of Venture Funds - TechCrunch reports that Twitter has raised a round of financing, led by Union Square Ventures. How much they raised has yet to be disclosed but it is rumored to be anywhere from $1 – 5 million. The service, which has around 300,000 users, has grown rapidly in recent months. Now to see how they will actually monetize themselves.