LookingConfident's  Instablog

Send Message
Longstanding investor in Looksmart (& a 67 yr old ex-tradesman), who has a passionate interest in the problems of newspapers along with their success in all their monetisation attempts made, on the web. For the "times are indeed, a changin", I feel. [17th of Aug, 2011 - Print media... More
  • Looksmart on Webmaster Radio - - Intent Data on 3 Billion Search Queries/day (Google/Yahoo) 2 comments
    Feb 9, 2012 1:12 AM

    What an incredible "Tweet" from Looksmart! And one that was hardly even noticed above the clutter of a usual 'noisy' Twitter exchange of messages constantly being sent...



    LookSmartSearch LookSmartSearch

    Listen [here] to what LookSmart's Benoit Vatere had to say in an interview with @WebmasterRadio at SES SF: http://bit.ly/pcRKQs

    13 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply


    August 24, 2011

    Benoit Vatere, Vice President of the Distribution Network for LookSmart describes how Looksmart is not only a search network, but that they operate to buy intent rather than systems. - The [Looksmart] search advertising network announces [that] new quality initiatives have been launched within it's network.


    Note again, from the above: (More on this, further down in post)

    < Looksmart is not only a search network, but that they operate to buy "intent" rather than systems.>

    Firstly, and in regards to Looksmart's TAC payment ...

    I was amazed that Looksmart (from within it's Q2 report) had advised that it's total cost of revenues was $3.438 million & that this figure (naturally) would include all TAC paid out for the quarter, from total revenues of just, $6.3 million.

    Yet, Looksmart's Revenues from the Company's Publisher Solutions were only $0.3 million in the second quarter of 2011, so its fair to say that the bulk of that total 'cost of revenues' surely MUST be being paid to 'other' publishers (or, its search partners) for data on users (as per Vatere's stated "selling" of "intent") for advertiser/publisher 'solutions' within the independent Looksmart, (& Global), AdCenter marketplace.

    Global? - adcenter.looksmart.com/help/faq#geo_targeting

    Now, from within the Webmaster Radio interview......Benoit Vatere tells of both Google and Yahoo as looking for bigger margins. - So it's fair to suggest that Looksmart are getting a good deal of it's 'user intent' data, from a number of searches conducted on both Google & Yahoo or, daily queries had by 'their' users. (As Yahoo now uses Bing for it's own search engine - it's pretty clear that Microsoft if not already, will be doing like-wise in the future, with Looksmart.)

    So, both Google and Yahoo would be included in the different sources of Traffic (and are no doubt part of the total Q2 TAC, as paid out), for the advertising (distribution) networks - as we were told of by Looksmart, in the Form 8-K Current Report, for Q2. (Looksmart's own Ad Network is simply, only a secondary business, that I do feel the Co will sell shortly.)

    < The year-over-year and sequential increase in margin was due primarily to lower traffic acquisition costs ("TAC") resulting from the continued optimization of bids/prices paid for different sources of traffic and keywords,

    Traffic acquisition costs (NYSE:TAC) for LookSmart's Ad Network decreased to 48% from 58% in the second quarter of 2010, and 52% in the first quarter of 2011.>

    This all becomes clearer from within my instapost ["Looksmart Reports Comprehensive Income? What does that Mean?"] ....That Looksmart pay the likes of Google and Yahoo (Bing), for provision of 'user intent' (search) data & then independently offer this to advertisers and agencies, to buy @ scale in a ONE huge marketplace. That Looksmart reports in (only) "comprehensive revenues" (or, the actual percentage payment as received or, retained from all winning bids/clicks revenue), is the reason for a Q/Q decline in revenues, as is the case with Looksmart.


    The revelations taken from the above-linked Benoit Vatere - Webmaster radio, interview: (In no real particular order - just snippets.)

    He's been 10 years in the industry...he "needed to get on the media side..."

    He describes Looksmart as a "media network" - He heads up the distribution network...a "complex" title......"making sure that we get the good traffic..".

    "it's complex...it's behond search and attribution.........[it's] how can we follow keyword search intent......"

    "we are touching these users through search queries, a good indication of intent ....how can we follow these users"?

    He says he's "dealing with the publishers" ......to get 'that good traffic' ..,,,,,..it's complex..."where the eye-balls are" ...... "how do we follow those guys ..the users...." ??? [Its clear]

    [From search] "Google and Yahoo are looking for bigger margins"!!

    ".......through "key-word" search... search, display, social and mobile, video ... different ways of touching the user ... we follow users showing search intent....... image, rich media ..yes ..we are getting into this... we....position ourselves to the OPEN market..."

    "we are looking at the IP ... the individual user ..........but we do watch for IP's with 5 or, 6 clicks....building a quality score" ...Video? "Google helps [us] a lot with this, with video .... we have same standard as Google has .... it's easy for them to get it to us... "

    "we have search, display, social (Facebook & .... ) and mobile video ... different ways of touching the user ... we follow users showing search intent... image, rich media ..yes ..we are getting into this.......we want to position ourselves to the OPEN market..."

    "We are taking advertisers on. on a CPA basis.We own this network.. We know this traffic...we take all the risk with them..[in doing so]"

    Asked about Size? The Vice President of the Distribution Network for LookSmart says in reply: ,,,,, "we have about 3 billion queries per day ...... includes explicit search (search traffic), domains traffic, E Mail, 'in text' as well .,,.. close to 4000 odd publishers... focusing on quality..,,,,..it's a really good network.. ..... I was surprised when I joined ...........at the breath of the network......." (as a personal favoured 'creative' .,,,,,,,,,,,. he says he likes the take-over on tablets ...a full screen ad - very engaging - he experienced it on wired.com...higher prices for eCPMs - great for publishers, I guess?)

    And the 'piss-fart' Looksmart Ad Network that the Co has 'hidden behind' for so long?

    Q? Are you still a text [ad] link Co? .... "we are, but not for much longer - we are going to keep the text link ..but....."

    Just the Vice President of the Looksmart Distribution Network, Benoit Vatere's (hopefully) "honest" opinion, of course!

    On Facebook, Google, Linkedin ..Here's an industry 'insider's opinion', perhaps?

    Not quite the "Newz" Folkz....

    (Friday's close) LOOK: 3:59PM EDT: $1.45 Up 0.06 (+4.32%)


    1.8mm net shares increased

    ps; Using data to optimise digital campaigns | article by Carolyn Bollaci of MediaMind Australia http://bit.ly/pTvqBY

    "The lift in CTR results for both targeting and retargeting so far prove strong. In our own research based on six billion impressions, data usage for targeting and retargeting saw CTRs jump 73 percent. Actual conversions also increased by an average of 40 percent, with as much as 389 percent for some advertisers.

    ....Often the advertisers with better conversion rates were those who retargeted users with additional incentives, such as a promotional offers on an item the user abandoned in a shopping cart.- - - It was a deal sweetener that secured the conversion."


    Disclosure: Long LOOK and excited!!

Back To LookingConfident's Instablog HomePage »

Instablogs are blogs which are instantly set up and networked within the Seeking Alpha community. Instablog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors, in contrast to contributors' articles.

Comments (2)
Track new comments
  • LookingConfident
    , contributor
    Comments (932) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » .
    ##.. that includes explicit search (search traffic - from Google and Yahoo's SE), domains traffic, E Mail, 'in text' as well and having... close to 4000 odd publishers... where all those millions upon millions of users who have shown 'intent'..... become targetable audiences or, users to be re-targeted across the marketplace. ..##


    Understand that it is Looksmart's (exclusive) marketplace that "buys" this (the above) data from it's (Looksmart's) publisher partners. (Including both Google and Yahoo search - as we have been told by Looksmart's Benoit Vatere, Vice President of the Distribution Network)


    So .. it should be clear that it's ... Only the Looksmart (independent) MARKETPLACE that can offer this massive supply of "user intent" to advertisers and agencies, at scale, ok?


    From Google's white-paper "The Arrival of Real-Time Bidding" (page9/18), Google touches on this (exclusive) buying offer, within the following:


    < Four Ways to Do Real-Time Buying


    There are at least four different ways to use real-time buying to find answers to the three essential questions.


    From the common to the sophisticated, real-time buying helps advertisers:


    *Consider one type of data.


    *Consider multiple types of data.


    *Assign variable values to each impression by weighting one or more pieces of information.


    *De-duplicate reach and manage frequency.


    Consider One Type of Data


    As an entry-point to data-driven buying, buyers can use a single type of data to inform their bidding strategy. For example, first-party re-targeting data can be used to evaluate impressions based on whether or not the ad will reach a person who has previously been on an advertiser’s website.


    Similarly, third-party data can be used to evaluate impressions based on whether the ad will reach audiences who match a pre-defined profile, such as a demographic, behavioral, or in-market profile.


    Evaluations at this level use rather large, predetermined buckets.


    For example, a buyer may decide to bid on audiences who have been on the advertiser’s site before or to bid for audiences who have recently researched new cars. Using just one piece of data ignores many other potentially valuable pieces of available information.>




    The possibility of 'third party' data being added (to the Looksmart advertiser/publisher 'scaled' solution) is very likely. Bearing in mind that Looksmart's TAC payment is now based around the cost of gaining access to this data, from the likes of both Google and Yahoo and all other publisher partners.


    Google (and Yahoo) then offer the above broader reach of performance marketing (at scale), to their own (individual) advertisers, using the 'scaled' Looksmart marketplace.


    Shareholders who understand the above will then get a little more excited about that bright future ahead, for Looksmart.




    As more & more publishers are 'enabled' and they get to add some of their available inventory to the Looksmart marketplace, revenues (for Looksmart - as a percentage of each 'click'), will then start to grow exponentially.


    ALL, an opinion as always,


    30 Aug 2011, 04:43 AM Reply Like
  • LookingConfident
    , contributor
    Comments (932) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » "It’s not as easy to find "high-intent" prospects reading content as it is when they search directly for your products." says Andrew Goodman in an article 'tweeted' by AdReady today, over on Twitter .....


    He adds:


    "The secret is that the demographic is so large and that there is so much relevant content to sort through, the potential is huge but the process of sorting out high-intent (and deep-pocketed) customers from low-intent audience members is going to be more daunting and more meticulous – and yes, it will definitely involve new channels like YouTube. Large effort, but great rewards, to the companies that can crack that nut."


    I then replied to AdReady in a tweet...... "cracking that nut"? Try targeting/re-targeting audiences/individuals with 'user intent', NOT content sites.


    I mean ...Does it get any better than to be able to mine some 3 billion pieces of "user intent" data (daily), from search queries made on search engines, of the likes of both Google and Yahoo? (Read of, in the above article)


    For Publishers (who are clear winners - resulting from higher costing CPA type paid clicks), Andrew Goodman (& rightly so), points out in his 19th Sept. comment, ..."that a material winner has been Google Owned and Operated properties (whose revenues have increased significantly according to recent financial statements), and by extension, Google.


    13 Oct 2011, 01:42 PM Reply Like
Full index of posts »
Latest Followers


More »
Instablogs are Seeking Alpha's free blogging platform customized for finance, with instant set up and exposure to millions of readers interested in the financial markets. Publish your own instablog in minutes.