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Looksmart's Q2 Report - Zero transparency, I'm afraid.....

I'm becoming a little tired with the continual dribble or, 'spin' being handed down to Looksmart's ordinary shareholders. God only knows how long this has been going on.

The Co's pre-market open announcement todats saw this way oversold share-price value move up by 20% in no time ....

There is was, for all to see...... 

Looksmart are proud to have announce today that  -  LookSmart AdCenter Named "Best Search Engine Ad Platform" Finalist by Search Engine Watch for Two Consecutive Years Business Wire (Mon 8:00am)

BUT it surprises me greatly that Looksmart (who were once so proud to have been an "independent" inter-connector of AdNetworks & publishers, Globally), haven't used the very word INDEPENDENT in any of their announcements - made since the Co was awarded the winner of last years inaugural Search Engine Strategies'  .. "Best Search Engine Ad Platform".

The Co proudly told all (back then)......

< .............................."This award belongs to our talented employees who have built a proven search advertising platform that advertisers trust to extend their PPC campaigns beyond major search engines," said Ted West, chief executive officer and president of LookSmart............  "We are honored that Search Engine Strategies has validated our company's strategy as we continue to emerge as a leading independent Search Advertising Network." > LookSmart - LookSmart AdCenter Named "Best Search Engine Ad ...

And a search for the use of that clearly INDEPENDENT unbeatable 'edge' or, advantage,  No mention for quite some time now ... HMmm? WHY?

http://investor.shareholder.com/looksmart/search.cfm?method=and&CategoryFromPath=releases.cfm&keyword=Independent&x=40&y=3 

That "unique" situation (of being independent of any publisher involvement, whatsoever) has come about as a result of Looksmart ridding itself of all it's own consumer sites......... And the ask.com agreement is virtually (now), the last of the "managed" publisher involvements to remain.

Perhaps AFTER ask.com is hosting arrangement is discarded Looksmart then may start to "tout" that (completely) INDEPENDENT advantage, once again?

Looksmart (with AdCenter and it's Smart Rotation) are clearly stating that they are "on the side of the Advertiser" ........ By not having ANY publisher involvement they can (also) then operate that Independent OPEN Marketplace that they are completely reluctant to discuss these days, at all ..... That's the "management" side of what I feel is a Global RTB auction marketplace that is to be administered (managed) by Looksmart, and because of this very independence.

Here's Looksmart's Michael Schoen clearly stating that they are "on the side of the Advertiser"...

http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2009/07/21/looksmart-intros-tool-for-serving-best-performing-ads

Yes, and it's understandable that you can only be serving the "one" master and hope to still remain independent, from a management point of view. As publishers will 'watch-out' for themselves, right?

And some of Looksmart's Q2 numbers, are.....

Average Advertising Network revenue per click (RPC) for the second quarter of 2009 was $0.06, a decrease from $0.08 in the second quarter of 2008 and $0.07 in the first quarter of 2009.
 
Q2 - 2008 Advertising Network Revenues $15.7 - 195M clicks @ .08rpc ($15,600,000)
 
Q1 - 2009 Advertising Network Revenues $12.0 - 184M clicks @ .07rpc ($12,880,000)
 
Q2 - 2009 Advertising Network Revenues $12.0 - 207M clicks @ .06rpc  ($12,420,000)
 

So, paid clicks increased by 23 million (Q/Q) or, by 12.5% and only by 12M or, 6.2%, Y/Y
 
Now, it's probably reasonable to say that "users" create those Ad "queries" and that resulting from this, come the paid clicks.
 
And interestingly enough is, that Looksmart had said back in Q2 2008, that:

"During this year's second fiscal quarter, LookSmart's network averaged nearly 500 million queries per day
 
 
Then, on Apr 21, 2009 we were told, that .......

"LookSmart's AdCenter processes more than a billion daily queries for LookSmart's syndicated network and.." 

LookSmart Delivers Better Value to Advertisers with CPA-Optimized Ad Rotation
04/21/09  

And it's so hard to accept that if it's for a full quarter, then the Q2 period had only produced a 12.5% (Q/Q) increase (from an over 100% increase in "queries") and an even worse thought is that it's only a 6.2% increase for paid clicks, Y/Y.

My real concern (there are others, of course) is the poor percentage of paid clicks that have resulted from (or, against) the doubling of those queries that create opportunity for clicks, now be over 1 billion daily ...
 
LC