Yahoo sells portion of Alibaba stake, could signal new activity from former search leader

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by Brafton Editorial
Yahoo sold more than half of its stake in Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba, which many believe could pave the way for the company to enter new markets under leadership of recently appointed CEO Marisa Mayer.

Yahoo has sold a portion of its shares in Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba in a move that some believe will lead to investment in other web spaces from the company. According to AllThingsD.com, Yahoo will net more than $4.5 billion after taxes, which many believe CEO Marisa Mayer will use to take the company into new markets. Increased activity from Yahoo, whether it’s in social or otherwise, could offer greater opportunities for marketers to appeal to target audiences on the web.

With the new cash on hand and a largely revamped staff, many pointed to social media as an area Yahoo may consider. Earlier in 2012, Yahoo nixed is largely unsuccessful social network, Meme, after years of inactivity.

While Mayer reworks the company, it continues to struggle in search and other areas. Brafton recently highlighted search market share figures from comScore that indicated Yahoo accounted for less than 13 percent of queries in August, while Google and Bing continue to attract more users and searches. These companies, as well as Facebook, continue to make it more difficult for Yahoo to compete in different web channels, namely social media marketing and SEO.

Marketing Land‘s Greg Sterling suggested that foursquare may be a target acquisition for Yahoo, as the geosocial site continues to grow and innovate. The additions the company has made to its product include a search capability that allows users to find relevant businesses more effectively. While Mayer’s intentions remain unclear, aggressive improvements to Yahoo’s employee base and financial standing could help it move into web marketing areas that help it regain the position it’s lost in recent years.

 

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