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January 10, 2007

The goods behind Yahoo & MyBlogLog

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Loren Baker has an in depth look at Yahoo’s recent MyBlogLog acquisition, giving readers an overview on the actual property, ideas on how Yahoo can leverage it and soliciting opinion from some of the industry’s most avid MyBlogLog users.

If you’re not familiar with MyBlog Log, Loren defines it as "a hybrid between analytics solution and a social networking environment".

Basically, by signing up, bloggers are given a piece of code they can add to their site which will keep track of all their analytics data (referrals, links, etc.), as well as giving them a (literal) picture of who’s visiting and what other blogs they frequent. The value of the analytics data is obvious, but the blogger profiles are equally valuable. MyBlogLines gives bloggers a representative look at who their visitors are and what else is on their blogging diet. The community aspect is reinforced by users being able to submit photos to appear on your Reader Roll.

If the Yahoo/ MyBlogLog acquisition sounds familiar, it’s not surprising. We, along with most other blogs, reported it happened back in November. But alas, we were wrong. This time, however, it’s been confirmed. Yahoo acquired MyBlogLog for a reported sum of $10 million.

The sum is noteworthy because it signals Yahoo!’s interest in the property. Ten million dollars may not seem like an obscene amount of money for a growing startup (Google spends that on lunch), but take into consideration that MyBlogLog is a six month old company with FIVE employees and zero revenue. This is something Yahoo! aggressively pursued, and with good reason.

So what will Yahoo do with the startup now? Loren Baker offers three possibilities, which I’ll simply outline here (check out SEJ for the real juice.):

  • Use it to build a friendlier Yahoo 360 network, eventually merging it into MyYahoo
  • Implement the MyBlogLog Reader Roll into Yahoo’s search, channel, local and news communities
  • Use in conjunction with Yahoo Publisher Network to connect with bloggers

Obviously the value of MyBlogLog is less about what its worth at present and more about what Yahoo can do to leverage it in the future. This was a smart buy for Yahoo because it opens the door in several other areas and gives them a way to connect with a group comprised of heavy influencers – those annoying bloggers. You might say Yahoo’s MyBlogLog acquisition rounds out their social network offerings for bloggers.

Of the four main engines, Yahoo has always been the most blog-friendly. They allowed users to bookmark early on and they were the only engine to integrate a beta blog search in with users traditional search results (though they killed it later). If Yahoo can successfully integrate MyBlogLog with already-owned properties del.licio.us, Flickr and MyYahoo it will help them regain some of that blogger love they lost when they inexplicably removed the beta blog results late last year. If Yahoo can become a bloggers source for all things bookmarks, tagging, Web 2.0 and social network-related, imagine the authority it gives Yahoo and the new monetization options it creates. I’d let Yahoo be my one-stop blog shop if they gave me the goods. Maybe they’ll go ahead and create a better version of Blogger.

I’ll also be interested to see if Yahoo expands MyBlogLog’s analytics offerings. Right now MyBlogLog’s offerings are pretty basic. Yahoo hasn’t done much in the way of analytics so it’d be nice to see them make a run here. I don’t think we’ll see it, but I’ll still hope for it.

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