Yahoo's Genome Leverages Big Data for Advertisers
Despite CEO chaos, Yahoo is taking advantage of its interclick purchase to leverage big data for advertisers. Yahoo's Genome advertising solution should be available in July 2012.

What Is Genome?

Behind the revolving door of CEOs at Yahoo, the company is somehow still alive and kicking. Yahoo announced Genome at Internet Week New York:

Anticipated to be available in July 2012, Genome is the culmination of a strategy that was put in place last year with the display ad agreement with Microsoft and AOL as well as the acquisition of interclick, which Yahoo! acquired in December 2011, to create a next generation audience buying solution with greater targeting and personalization capabilities."

In November 2011, Yahoo focused on display advertising across Yahoo and its partner sites and bought interclick, inc., a big data valuation platform, at a US$ 9 per-share price tag.

How does Genome work? Yahoo explains:

Genome combines the best of the technology, data, analytics and media from Yahoo! and interclick; from Yahoo! -- premium media and unmatched user data with proven targeting capabilities -- and interclick -- unified technology stack, third-party data partnerships and expertise in analytics and audiences."

More specifically, the company explains that Genome leverages Yahoo's proprietary data, including search and behavioral data, as well as advertiser information and data from third-party partners. Genome also gives marketers access to ad inventory available from Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft and comScore to 1,000 publishers. Genome can then sort through the big data to help marketers anticipate, optimize and measure audience performance.

Learning Opportunities

Proactive on Privacy

Before you freak out about Yahoo getting into your search business and turning you into a product to sell advertisers, the company is already addressing the topic of privacy, explaining:

Yahoo! provides transparency about our data collection and use practices and extends several tools to empower consumers to manage their experience, such as a global opt-out, Ad Interest Manager for visibility and control over specific interest categories, and we're now among the first in the world to support Do Not Track."

Support for Do Not Track sounds promising, assuming users can easily gain access to it and the opt-out options.

Too Late?

Will Genome arrive in time to keep Yahoo afloat? And if Yahoo can deliver the data, will advertisers come?

Unlike his recent predecessors, Yahoo's Interim CEO, Ross Levinsohn, is an experienced ad man. Looks like there's still hope for Yahoo, especially if Levinsohn sticks and the swinging door of CEOs stays shut for a while.