As the summer approaches, we’re reminded that the popular web sites we (and millions of others) use on a daily basis are similar to the seasons—they’re always changing. They have to keep evolving in order to stay relevant, and likewise, ecommerce professionals must adapt to the new developments these sites offer if we are to remain competitive in the market. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what the major players have been doing in the past several weeks.
In a bold move to appeal to a younger demographic, Yahoo announced its $1.1 billion (cash!) purchase of the popular blogging site Tumblr on May 20. Yahoo chief executive officer Marissa Mayer reassured concerned users that the company “promises not to screw it up” on her own Tumblr blog. Mayer compared the deal to Google’s acquisition of YouTube and eBay’s purchase of PayPal.
Tumblr CEO and founder David Karp and his team will remain in charge of the web site, which will not display any Yahoo branding, in order to preserve the user experience that has made it so popular. Tumblr currently enjoys 300 million unique visitors per month.
Speaking of YouTube, Google’s immensely popular video-sharing web site marked eight years of kitten antics, B-list celebrity meltdowns, and Gangnam Style this past weekend. It celebrated its birthday with the introduction of YouTube Comedy Week, which features 150 comedians, including Vince Vaughn and The Lonely Island.
In other (and bigger) news, YouTube launched its Paid Channel subscription model this month, allowing content providers to rent to viewers instead of making it all available for free. User subscriptions are $2.99-$5.99/month and come with a 14-day trial.
YouTube isn’t the only Google property making important changes these days. The recent redesign of AdWords Express has made it user-friendlier for advertisers who aren’t seasoned in PPC marketing. Google has streamlined the set-up and preview processes, as well as improved the dashboard display, making AdWords Express an even more attractive option for business owners just diving into the world of online marketing.
In related news, Google also announced the introduction of Keyword Planner, a new tool for AdWords users that helps to identify relevant keywords, estimate traffic, and plan bids and budgets. Responding to user feedback, Google created the updated Keyword Planner to combine two current functions, the Keyword Tool and the Traffic Estimator, to simplify and streamline the process of planning a search campaign. Google will be retiring the two older functions within 60 days of their May 20th announcement date.