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Looksmart's enviable "INDEPENDENT" position is missed by the market

Looksmart AdCenter has been built to scale and reaches out to advertisers and publishers across the web. 

For advertisers (DSP's, Agencies, Brands and or, 'mom & pop' businesses), we are told by Looksmart that with LOOK's AdCenter's Geo-Targeting, it allows your ads to receive traffic from web users in specific geographic areas that you designate.

What Geo-Targeting options are available?

Geo -Targeting is performed at the campaign level and is available for regions as large as a country or narrow as a postal code.

Specifically, there are four geographic types you can use to target your campaigns:

  • Country
  • State or Region
  • City / Designated Marketing Area
  • Postal Code
[Looksmart's CEO told, that shareholders expect much more than is]

Let's forget all about my assumption that many platforms out there offering global reach are (in fact) private labels of the above 'scale' that's being offered by Looksmart. (Just as the REED Publishing's "KellySearch" is also, as is shown within that above linked post.)

Let's (also) forget the (my) thought that AdCenter was built in corroboration with Microsoft (using parts from Atlas & RAPT - acquired by Microsoft) and with the use of some 200 of Newscorp's engineers & all being domiciled under the same roof, down at the 'old' Looksmart HQR's, in 265 Second St, San Francisco.

[3/3/2011 - With RTB - real time bidding also provided by Microsoft's purchase of AdECN -]

Let's now assume that there have been an almighty 'blow-up' since those early co-operative days and we are now (ALL) going in our own separate ways. All (the three of us) now wanting to do our "own" thing ...All having a firm hand on a 'same' designed, INDEPENDENT (scaled) operation, that Looksmart's AdCenter is.

So we are back (full-on) co-peting against each other, ok?

We (Microsoft) have Yahoo and possibly most of it's YPN to work with. And Newscorp? Well, we have the majority of World newspapers that will probably stick with us? (

And Looksmart? All dressed up and no-where to go, once again? And left with that ugly realisation that we are now being 'marginalised' by our two powerful 'bed-buddies', that we have been entertained by? - But wait.....

We have almost forgot about Google, who are very much still "powering along", seemingly without a care in the world. Google?

Have we forgot already?

< Google (it would seem?) must then be able to operate in a neutral 'fashion' that 'independently' allows them now to 'fairly' bid for their own publisher inventory, and to the satisfaction (we can only assume) of all ad buyers that operate in the DoubleClick Ad Exchange marketplace.>

[Looksmart has that (neutral) global scale within it's AdCenter]

Looksmart would then (as a "free" agent to do it's 'own' thing too) more than likely be sitting down with Google (who have even said today, that they are on the acquisition path), and get to become it's very own "inter-operability" middle-man.  More power to Google!

[3/3/2011 - Google have since acquired Invite Media, as a 'gate-way' to the 'secondary' marketplace and to now ensure that the (my) above scenario, WON'T be the case:]

It would be a mere 'pittance' for Google to think of 'forking out' say, around the $12pps mark to buy a 60% 'controlling stake' in LOOK. (With a current issued share tally of a little over 17M). Under it's Delaware incorporation, Looksmart can issue up to 200 million shares. (And effectively, Google would be getting to own an immediate 60% of all the Looksmart 'cash', the existing LOOK's $27.6M and that of Google's own 'buy in' contribution, the moment the deal was done. Too easy. It's what's called (besides pissing into a strong wind), "getting your own back" - Well, 60% of it - plus that certain board "control", at the very least!

I'm not so sure that Microsoft & Newscorp would want this, at all, with all 'three' now (full on) competing against each other like currently exists and days gone by. And "MSN" would be only be seen as surely 'cutting off their noses to spite their greedy faces', if this was so, no?

Then there's that half million users in Facebook and now Twitter (with it's "Promoted Tweets" - Twitter Ads Test Billion-Dollar Valuation‎), that all three would have to contend with. Nup ...Not good at all. In a 'game' that's designed to eliminate expensive "man-hours" and human nature's more often than not, costly indecisions, I don't think so.

I'd much prefer to stick with my initial assumption, I'm afraid.

With that ONE (single) independent "inter-connector" playing that "inter-operability" role. With a NWS or, MSFT (or, with both taking a, say, 30% each), even closer 'interest' in LOOK. What would be stopping them, I must ask?

[3/3/2011 - Newscorp have since divested itself of it's FAN (the, Fox Audience Network), to The Rubicon Project -]

With any "buy-in" cash handed to Looksmart, providing (in part), the means to buying half an interest in the INUV/FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) 'click-fraud' (and, patent pending? - Thanks to John Linden's) technology (off of Inuvo), a 'click-score' technology, that supports the ValidClick Exchange.

[3/3/2011 - I now feel that a 'swap' of Looksmart's own 'piss-fart' ad network - The LookSmart Network  - that it has been 'hiding' behind for so long now - will be surfice to complete the INUV/FICO deal - With INUV then getting to become  its own 'mini exchange' and a global player.]

Now that's what I'd like to see. (And the $12pps would only be a starter 'reward' for many patient LOOK shareholders, is my own honest opinion, as always). Where those within the 'one' big (global) "happy family" can then get to live happily ever-after. All an opinion, as all my stories are.

LOOK: 3:59pm ET: $1.11  Up 0.03 (+2.78%) 


Disclosure: Long LOOK and most happy to be so