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Longstanding investor in Looksmart (and a 69 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
  • Targeting "User Intent" On Your Smart TV  12 comments
    Jun 12, 2012 8:39 AM

    (click to enlarge)

    Image #1 from an excellent ZdNet slide show provides a great example of how marketers will get to 'target' individual users on a Smart TV - all over the Looksmart marketplace - on a CPA/CPV basis, those users who have clearly shown (purchase) intent can be enticed with a 'short and sharp' individual campaign, based on their most recent searches had on the search engines. (Anonymous Data that represents a combination of Google, Yahoo/Bing/7Search, etc);get-photo-roto

    The Search "keyword" data is being provided exclusively to Looksmart, accordingly.

    A likely partner in the UK (I believe), is 'sitting quietly' until the global 'roll-out' begins - it's a Co called "Forward Digital" who tell us of the following on their web-site:

    < Forward Digital offer SEARCH RETARGETING, combining the efficiency of keyword-based search marketing with the reach and high-impact nature of display.

    Search Retargeting enables advertisers to focus on users with intent and match their desired audience with quality inventory. Increase your ROI by spending your budget more efficiently, re-targeting users who have searched on Yahoo, Google and Bing.>

    < Forward Digital ads are shown to users rather than websites. The users we are able to communicate with have all expressed pre-or post purchase intent. [By a user conducting a search for a same or, similar type product or, service on Google, Yahoo/Bing/7Search, etc]

    Our cutting-edge technology has been developed with the advertiser in mind, focusing on performance, brand exposure, potential to optimise and transparent reporting.>

    IMO, as always.


    Disclosure: Long LOOK & patiently waiting as many others are.

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  • Author’s reply » ..
    Clickz' Jessica Richards talks with Michael Kaushansky, the SVP, Insights & Analytics for Havas Digital, to discuss a few topics within the ever-adapting media landscape.


    <Jessica Richards: Privacy continues to bubble to the forefront when talking about data collection in digital media. I am concerned that for all the progress we have made, it may be offset by a super focus on consumer privacy and control.


    Michael Kaushansky: Privacy could set us back, but I am not sure how far. - - - The ability to track devices may be limited, especially household devices. Set-top box tracking may not be able to do what it claims. The changes could be as drastic as a formalized opt-in for data collection or a more formally regulated opt-out process.>



    In regards to DNT (and Microsoft's decision to 'switch it off by default' on it's IE10) it's interesting to read the Michael Kaushansky opinion above that ...."The ability to track devices may be limited, especially household devices" ........ certainly when you then consider that with Looksmart's unique 'solution' (and on a CPA basis), a 'user' is at no time identifiable to an advertiser or, publisher - unless & only when a click is recorded. There is no cost to the advertiser apart from (I feel) a CPV charge (or, cost per viewable impression), that is a certain to become a guarantee.


    ...........This then would not 'qualify' the same as the strictly 'following' of a user (by an advertiser), resulting from a publisher or, others who are retaining that user's visit, data details, etc.


    It's clear to me that advertisers of those same Search Engines that provide this anonymous (keyword) data to Looksmart, to 'manage', will be dealing with the 'end result' (and the publisher/representati... for all CPA clicks had.


    Looksmart would then get to receive it's payment (or, management commission), directly from the advertiser. (With any self serve, as an example). Looksmart would THEN pass on it's TAC payment to the search engine that provides the 'user intent', for each instance.


    Like Michael Kaushansky, it's an opinion.


    12 Jun 2012, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • I still can't understand how you can blog about a company introducing or talking about a technology and then relate it back to Looksmart with no substance at all.


    It is like saying "Apple release new ipod" and then relating it to the opportunities that a "global ad marketplace" offers so Looksmart should be looking good as that is their thing!


    It just doesn't work like that - of all the tier 2 networks Looksmart is the least positioned to get any action at all. Their adcenter is pre-historic, the staff have left to Adlux in Australia and the stock price reflects it.


    They will have to de-list from the nasdaq, they have been given the warning and it is not going to get above the 1 dollar - ever.


    Its a dead duck - they will end up splitting the business to protect what assets they have. They have already lost their best publishers to other tier 2 networks - they are on their way out.


    I hope to acquire the scraps of their network when they get really distressed.


    (disclaimer - I am a former publisher and advertiser with Looksmart and now work with several big publishers that used to work with Looksmart)


    Looksmart were left with over 10 million in chargebacks and over 2 million in accounts receivable in Q4 2011, Q1 2012 - they will not get that money back from advertisers.


    I look forward to the year ahead.
    14 Jun 2012, 07:37 PM Reply Like
  • Oh, and Looksmart were placed on the "do not use" list by Google and Microsoft/Bing because of click fraud.


    From 2010 they were on a special list from Google where certain partners were allowed - but this was changed in 2011 when traffic quality became so poor.


    They are at present the only tier 2 network to be on this blocklist because of traffic and click fraud.


    That seems to give the idea that the click fraud experienced by looksmart advertisers in the Q4 2011 statement was in effect from Looksmart publishers.


    Well, yes it was and that is confirmed by Google and Microsoft by them blocking Looksmart as a traffic source for their publishers.
    14 Jun 2012, 07:49 PM Reply Like
  • I will do a blog post with interviews from guys at Google and Yahoo about the Looksmart traffic quality problem but mainly looking at arb as an issue within their networks.


    Should be interesting. Keep "LookingConfident". Or not.
    14 Jun 2012, 07:56 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » .
    Hi Swanson1 ...Great to hear from you once again. Truly it is.


    Whilst I have always posted that my blogs are just my own opinions, I do wonder how you continually come up with much of what you 'state' (in your own comments?), and when asked of same ...You always fail to provide me with an answer.




    You have given me much to consider, above. There are two points you make that need addressing in the 1st instance, ok?


    "They [Looksmart] will have to de-list from the nasdaq, they have been given the warning and it is not going to get above the 1 dollar - ever."


    Ever? That's clearly your opinion, of course. Are you saying that you are not aware of the fact that Looksmart have announced a proposal for shareholder's to approve a 'reverse split' to cover that situation?





    You also write:


    "Looksmart were left with over 10 million in chargebacks and over 2 million in accounts receivable in Q4 2011, Q1 2012 - they will not get that money back from advertisers."


    Care to confirm the above statement (as fact) with me and others that may be reading here, rather than it just being 'heresay'- or, is it really, only a 'figment of your own imagination'?


    I'll get back to you on many of your other stated thoughts when you (yourself) answer me on the above two points, ok?


    14 Jun 2012, 08:55 PM Reply Like
  • It can't be confirmed and shouldn't be taken as fact - however it is what I have heard from several sources close to it.


    Of course I have formed opinions based on my experience with Looksmart and this information ties in with that. If this information is incorrect then fine - but it doesn't change my opinion.


    You must admit they are in a distressed position, the share price has taken a massive tumble - and yes the re-purchase is a desperate measure to keep them on the nasdaq.


    I am going to leave it at that - I think I have said all there is to be said from my point of view.
    15 Jun 2012, 08:37 AM Reply Like
  • And yes, I retract the comments I made as I agree that it is inappropriate to post something that can't be confirmed as fact.
    15 Jun 2012, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » .
    "it is what I have heard from several sources close to it." - And I am not doubting it as being the case. That as per your own claim, that:


    "Looksmart were left with over 10 million in chargebacks and over 2 million in accounts receivable in Q4 2011, Q1 2012 - they will not get that money back from advertisers."


    I had addressed this in a reply made to you. One that (my claim) also hilights what I feel already shows some 9.84% Of User 'Engagement' had, within Looksmart's CPA marketplace.



    But don't take my word for any of this. In a comment to an article I've just read, this fellow claims (in March), he ..'has a campaign running right now that has an 18% click-through and is generating $132 for every $1 we spend on advertising.'



    Yes. There's no mention of Looksmart in the article or, the comment. There never is. You need to 'work things out' yourself, in that regard.




    16 Jun 2012, 07:40 AM Reply Like


    "we have serious concerns about the company's ability to maximize or preserve shareholder value"


    "PEEK may seek to add directors to enhance the independence of LookSmart's board and function of its committees. PEEK believes that directors with a more meaningful financial investment of their own in LookSmart may be better positioned and otherwise better able to ensure that an appropriate relationship exists between executive compensation, performance, and the creation of sustainable shareholder value"


    "PEEK may suggest, recommend, propose, or otherwise pursue transactions involving the acquisition, sale, or exchange of all or part of LookSmart's securities or assets or other actions relating to, or potentially resulting in, changes to the company's business, condition, operations, structure, governance, management, capitalization, policies, plans, and prospects and other actions and changes. "


    Now that doesn't sound like the Looksmart global marketplace is working at all does it.


    In summary PEEK has been created by the existing shareholders to take control of Looksmart and re-distribute the funds to create shareholder value as it has no faith in the existing directors.


    They are burning cash reserves so fast that they had to step in.


    Game over.
    1 Jul 2012, 08:09 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » .
    Hi swanson1


    You post, that: "PEEK has been created by the existing shareholders to take control of Looksmart" - What? Shareholders, who beneficially own 2,591,312 shares? (Approximately 14.98% of the outstanding shares).


    For starters, Peek (specifically Michael Onghai I feel - a principal of Snowy August Management) haven't yet 'formalised' any offer.


    When (and IF) such an offer is made, it should (and no doubt would) be 'laughed off the table' by LOOK's Board members. By tomorrow (at the close of the market), their proposed $1.00pps, will mean so little to LOOK shareholders - if not the case already. Is my opinion.


    You have left out the following paragraph:


    <"PEEK plans to make the tender offer to acquire all shares validly tendered and not withdrawn and provide liquidity at a substantial premium to shareholders who desire to tender while eliminating their further exposure to the downside risk of loss associated with continued ownership of LookSmart's common stock." >


    Yes. "PEEK plans to make the tender offer"


    You finally add: "Now that doesn't sound like the Looksmart global marketplace is working at all does it."


    Let me assure you that the Looksmart global marketplace that I am looking at - and one that is part of a massive digital ecosystem (that has taken some 7 or, more long years to 'build' globally), is not only working- and working well- it's now getting so much closer to being fully operational. Is my opinion.


    I have stated in many of my recent blog posts that it is this Q3 period when things will really start to 'happen' for Looksmart's own, uniquely independent CPA marketplace and I have no reason whatsoever for me to think otherwise. - Watch and learn, is my message to you.



    It's only the beginning


    1 Jul 2012, 10:42 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » swanson1 ...From an earlier comment of yours:


    "of all the tier 2 networks Looksmart is the least positioned to get any action at all. Their adcenter is pre-historic, the staff have left to Adlux in Australia and the stock price reflects it."


    Do you mean Looksmart Australia's Adlux? Do they go from Looksmart to work with Looksmart?



    I've made a few mentions of Adlux before, on my instablog.



    Then there's Today's company announcement that you may care to comment on?:


    LookSmart Announces Display Capabilities


    Search Marketing Network Adds Display to Product Suite


    SAN FRANCISCO, July 17, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today LookSmart (LOOK) announced the addition of display advertising capabilities to its roster of performance-based search marketing offerings. By leveraging performance data from its search network, LookSmart's display offering will enable advertisers to extend the reach of their performance campaigns, and achieve higher ROI than typical display campaigns that do not benefit from deep conversion data.


    Advertisers can buy display advertising on a CPM or CPC basis, and leverage the full power of LookSmart's managed services team to manage real-time bidding, and deep campaign optimization. Existing search network advertisers will benefit from having historical campaign performance data, which will enable LookSmart campaign managers to quickly optimize display campaigns towards performance goals. Advertisers can also buy display only, and benefit from LookSmart's historical platform data to get rapid results.


    "We are truly excited about adding display to our advertising solutions," stated LookSmart CEO Jean-Yves Dexmier. "Most of our advertisers rely on display advertising to influence search behavior, generate more queries, and get ROI lift. Now, our delivery team can run display and search campaigns simultaneously, which has the added benefit of starting with rich conversion data to create a higher probability that KPI goals are achieved more quickly."


    LookSmart's plans on introducing its display capabilities to its existing advertising base, who can immediately take advantage of historical data to target audiences with a high probability of conversion. With access to the majority of exchange inventory, extensive first party data, and a broad range of third party audience segments, LookSmart's campaign optimization team will model its proprietary search performance data to achieve performance quickly.


    "Adding display capabilities is the first of many exciting initiatives we have planned for the company," added Dexmier. "With our robust performance platform, access to billions of daily search queries, and exceptional account and campaign management teams, we are well positioned to deliver performance at scale for direct response advertisers."


    About LookSmart, Ltd


    LookSmart is an online advertising network solutions company that provides performance solutions for online advertisers and online publishers. LookSmart offers advertisers targeted, performance based advertising via its Advertiser Networks; and an Ad Center platform for customizable private-label advertiser solutions for online publishers. LookSmart is based in San Francisco, California. For more information, visit or call 415-348-7500.


    The LookSmart, Ltd. logo is available at




    Bill O'Kelly, Senior Vice President Operations and
    Chief Financial Officer
    (415) 348-7208
    ICR, Inc.
    John Mills, Senior Managing Director
    (310) 954-1100
    17 Jul 2012, 09:19 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » .
    Time To Include (Digital) Out-Of-Home In Our Definition of Programmatic Media? [From AdExchanger today]


    “No! Outdoor media cannot be considered digital! What self respecting digital media buyer would buy it?”


    Here’s my response — think about all the ways you can target and buy online display. Compare that list with the functionality below:


    *Buy programmatically via a DSP
    *Get a campaign live in hours
    *Target days or dayparts
    *Target DMAs, Zip codes, or individual addresses
    *Target audience profiles based on first and third party data
    *Track the serving of discrete individual ad plays
    *Optimize campaigns in flight


    "Smartphones are changing the playing field. Soon, the audience associated with individual avails will be informed by the people near a digital outdoor media property. It is not science fiction for digital offline display to be just as addressable as online display."



    And with access to billions of daily search queries who is likely to provide an anonymous (almost click-fraud free), friction-less global marketplace to provide marketers with this new and exciting option?



    11 Sep 2012, 09:46 PM Reply Like
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