Last week, Yahoo! acquired Associated Content, a company with which Yahoo! had been developing a relationship for several months. Associated Content is a news source that provides localized articles through the contributions of mostly non-journalist individuals with knowledge of local information. Luke Beatty, founder of Associated Content, claims that AC's personalized style and Yahoo!'s incredible size allow for both news sources to be more effective when working together.
AC delivers to Yahoo! localized content that will hopefully provide more personalized content to Yahoo's 600 million users and allow it to gain a level of relevancy that could change the that way news is reported on the web. Meanwhile, Beatty claims that Yahoo!'s large audience will motivate his news contributors by giving them access to a larger audience. As part of the acquisition, Yahoo will be opening a new office in Denver. However, not everyone sees AC's personalized style of reporting as beneficial. Social Media SEO's Robert Holland has criticized Associated Content, claiming that the company "pollutes the top search results with garbage content that is written solely for the purpose of search engine exposure in Google." Others have expressed concern that AC could be mistaken by readers for legitimate journalism. While AC does lack an element of journalistic authenticity, it is a valuable resource for casual newsreaders on the web. And, indeed, AC's numbers reflect how invaluable they are to web users with reports claiming that the site generates about 16 million unique visitors.
Although Associated Content does provide a valuable service, given that its contributors are not necessarily journalists, the company is somewhat limited. Associated Content is restricted to reporting on local, personalized news with little room for expansion into other types of news reporting. AC's partnership with Yahoo! therefore fills a gap in AC's reporting. While Yahoo! can lend an air of journalistic authenticity, Associated Content can provide useful and personalized information to Yahoo! users.
Considering that both companies cannot independently provide the amount of information that they can provide when partnered, the relationship between Associated Content and Yahoo! could create a new future of internet news reporting that provides consumers with both local and world news. While Internet news sources previously followed the model of traditional news sources in providing mostly national information, the relationship between Yahoo! and AC could allow for internet news reporting to take on an different personality.
Sources: Denver Westward Blogs