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Can Marissa Mayer Turn Yahoo’s Display Ad Ship Around?

You really have to hand it to Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer. She has a lot of things in her hands. When she stepped into the CEO role at Yahoo, she was tasked with turning the company around but that involves turning a lot of things around. It involves keeping traffic up, keeping ad sales up and interestingly enough, within this ad sales project, it involves turning the company around from its declining fortunes in display ads. Based on its most recent figures, Yahoo’s display ad volume is getting closer to one billion dollars a year. That is bad news considering the track record of this company’s display ad fortunes.

The company is in serious decline in many fronts. As we keep reporting, Yahoo is obviously trying to turn the tide to an acqui-hire strategy. The buyout may actually look like it’s an acquisition but it’s actually a hiring opportunity for Yahoo to buy key talents at good prices to bolster its back end in its bid to become relevant again in silicon valley. One of the biggest battlegrounds of this big turnaround project is display ad revenue stream. Yahoo is really going all out in changing how it looks and how it lays out its pages both on traditional devices as well as mobile gadgets to really customize the ads to the personal experience of the person looking at the content.

While this makes for a great press release, the problem is personalization is a mixed bag. After all, this is Facebook’s strategy all along. If you look at Facebook’s ad, this is what they do. This is what they are all about and it’s kind of a mixed bag in that respect, much less when somebody is not logged in or doesn’t really do much socialization when logged in at Yahoo. While Marissa Mayer is cluing a scene as the overall strategy, she does keep saying that it is all about personalization, it still remains to be seen whether this personalized approach can dramatically turn around Yahoo’s declining fortunes in the ad display front as well as other fronts. We wish them the best because as we keep saying on these pages, we want diversity in the technology field. We don’t want just one eight hundred pound gorilla running everything and more importantly, dictating the future direction of internet content and technology preferences.

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