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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
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  • GOOGLE - Showing Signs of being ... Under The Pump?
    Clearly, "the writing is on the wall" for Google.

    Shortly after having a quick look at it's Q4 report it was so obvious that ... 'the times, they are a changing'. IMHO.
    And not just for Google, but for the industry at large. I then immediately posted what was only a "tongue in cheek" note to Google [ Re: GOOGLE ], in the welcoming of them to their 'new' Boss.
    These areas had initially caught my eye.
    < Total Revenues - $6.67 billion (Q3 - $5.94 billion) - UP 8.9% Q/Q
    Yet, revenues were DOWN by 1% for Google-owned sites that had generated revenues of $4.42 billion [$3.96 billion in Q3], or 66% [67% Q3], as a percentage of total revenues.
    Revenues were UP by just 1% on Google’s partner sites, that had generated revenues through AdSense programs, of $2.04 billion [$1.80 billion in Q3], or. only a 1% rise to 31% [30% Q3], as a percentage of total revenues.
    TAC - Traffic Acquisition Costs, the portion of revenues shared with Google’s partners is shown to have increased to $1.72 billion [ 84% of $2.04M - UP $160M  Q/Q], and compared to TAC of $1.48 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008.
    TAC [Google advise] also includes amounts ultimately paid to certain distribution partners and others who direct traffic to our website, which totaled $250 million [UP $21M Q/Q], in the fourth quarter of 2009.>

    Increased revenues for Google were not unexpected. But much of that increase could be attributed to it's DoubleClick Exchange, I believe. - That AdX has almost  stolen a march at this very early juncture (I feel) is reflected in the almost 9% Q/Q increase, in Q4.

    This more fairer and efficient area of Ad Networks soon to be working through 'neutral' Exchanges in an RTB auction based marketplace (using Looksmart AdCenter technology) is set to change the "game" as Google once knew it. IMO. And at this early stage, it has hardly yet started.

    From a recent report put out by Efficient Frontier ........

    ........ the following represents some very interesting and what I believe to be most important findings for those others that are involved (like Looksmart and Yahoo), and even at this early stage:

    <.... Google's share of [paid] clicks rose to 74.4% and reversed a downward trend in share since the launch of Bing. Yahoo! was the biggest loser in paid click share, giving up a full 3.4% since Q3 in moving from 24.4% to 21%.

    Google's share of spend also rose, but at a slightly slower rate, moving up from 73.9% in Q3 to 74.5% in Q4...... While Yahoo! gave up significant share in clicks they lost only 0.5% in spend as a strengthening CPC at Yahoo! offset some of the click loss.>

    This augers well for Yahoo's own earnings report, IMO.

    The fact that Yahoo who gave up 4.3% in click share (in Q4) but lost only 0.05% in spend (and as a result of a strengthening CPC) is a direct reflection on it's RME (the Right Media Exchange) moving to the Premium level, for the Q4 period.

    Looksmart's shareholders must remember that recently departed (dismissed?) CEO Ted West had previously advised of the fact that TAC (for Looksmart) had improved going out of Q3 and it was felt that this should remain sustainable during Q4.

    And it was partly on West's above statement that I have based LOOK's traffic (for the full Q4 period - Alexa), as being of the Premium variety.

    Whilst the 3 month traffic level to Looksmart (0.0102%) is shown as being down (by 5%) there is a need to take into account (and fully understand) the impact had by that spike (to 0.1%), as was had in the previous 3 month period.This (the spike) has distorted that Q/Q comparison, in a huge fashion. Traffic is UP.

    In effect, Looksmart's traffic recorded for the Q4 period is up appreciably. And I believe strongly that it's all (of the better paying), premium kind.

    For the site [] that I believe is managing the secondary marketplace (for Looksmart), it currently shows an increase of some 34% for the past 3 months. - This site (whilst having been proven to be registered with Looksmart AdCenter partner in ABCSearch, now, may well even be now owned by Looksmart. It's possible. These 'rogues' can do anything.

    At worst, it may have been 'loaned' to Looksmart for the purpose of separating the remnant or, the secondary Ad marketplace from that of the Premium Ad/Publisher network. 

    Now it's important to note when this site began to receive traffic. Note also that it had only all began prior to the start of Q4 2009, when (co-incidentally), Yahoo had also announced that it's RME (Right Media Exchange), was to concentrate on the Premium market.

    There is nothing whatsoever that says that Yahoo can't have a 'replica' of it's RME to operate as that advertising exchange for the (Global) 'secondary' or, remnant marketplace.

    Indeed, to achieve both separation and show transparency, in being at an 'arms length', Yahoo have appointed AdReady [ News ] as it's 'self-serve' platform.

    It would very much appear to me that Yahoo's RME may well have been 'inter-connected' to Looksmart's small, but growing Global Network in mid August.

    This 'spike' had in Traffic to it's AdCenter (circa 22nd September), I estimate to represent well above the 10 billion rate (and tested in "tandem" - linked on both sites) of impressions (daily), and that it was likely to be a (full on) "all-intest of the AdCenter technology's "inter-operability" capability, at scale.

    Remember (also) that Looksmart has (in fact) advised the marketplace that during the Q2-2009 period, AdCenter had managed over 1 billion 'querries' (impressions) daily and had over 2 million paid clicks, daily.

    Trailing 7 days Trailing 1 month Trailing 3 months Trailing 6 months Max

    This [ ] 'psuedo search site' above (besides, as suggested - is handling that AdCenter, secondary market traffic), even has what appears to be, a "generic" Privacy Policy to cover all or, at least many of the smaller sites that are 'partnered' within the network. And it's (Looksmart's?)own arse, of course. Fascinating!.
    <..If you have arrived at this Privacy Policy by "clicking" on an authorized link from a Web Site, then this Privacy Policy applies to such Web Site, and the individual entity that owns and/or operates the particular Web Site from which you "clicked" to.
    This Privacy Policy via an authorized link shall be referred to herein as "Sponsor," "we" or "us." Sponsor respects the privacy of its users, and this Privacy Policy explains what information we collect on our Web Site and how we use such information.>
    Indeed, they advise intending Partners ....

    < Own a website or search engine? has access to thousands of advertisers sponsored into your feed to maximize revenue for the traffic you receive.> - 
     They certainly do. And the webmaster and 'designer' of or, for this Discover-Facts site [ spyka webmaster ] are ready, willing and able to assist SMB's to get started. Yes: We provide free web templates, WordPress themes, phpBB3 styles, Free CSS Templates and more!
    All, only an opinion as always.

    Disclosure: Long LOOK
    Tags: LOOK
    Jan 21 11:32 PM | Link | 3 Comments
  • Looksmart and that "Interoperability" Role with it's AdCenter
    Five long years of reseach and some 12,000 odd posts were deleted today for virtually suggesting the above to be a real possibility ... has not only deleted all my many hours of work [Note: A check since shows those posts remain, but...], they have totally blocked my IP Address from my getting anywhere near their site ....

    It's called CENSORSHIP Folks ...

    Oh, it has been going on for a number of years on many sites including Yahoo Finance where I have just made the same suggestion within these two posts.

    Helping to answer a question re; LOOK

    Re: Helping to answer a question re; LOOK

    Just how long they will last on Yahoo Finance will remain the $64.00 question.

    Post 1 - Q? - What does "interoperability" mean (In regards to online ad exchanges)?


    What does "interoperability" mean?

    In the simplest terms it means:

    * Supply can originate in one exchange but be made available for sale to buyers from other exchanges.

    * Demand can originate in one exchange but flow into other exchanges. For instance, an ad buyer can express its targeting rules, bids and budget on one exchange but also be connected to and able to buy supply originating from other exchanges.

    More broadly, this means supply and demand can interact — regardless of the primary exchange their owners (publishers in the case of supply and ad buyers, including networks, agencies and advertisers in the case of demand) are participating in.

    And in regards to Looksmart's AdCenter, I wouldn't have known unless someone told me so.


    Post 2

    Tim Cadogen Makes Case For Interoperability Between Ad Exchanges ...

    <..In a recent piece for AdAge OpenX's Tim Cadogen makes a strong case for more interoperability between the growing number of ad exchanges and ...>

    I guess Looksmart's AdCenter is in the "box seat" for this (Global) "vacancy", no?

    All, IMHO as always.


    Disclosure: Long LOOK
    Tags: LOOK
    Jan 21 4:06 AM | Link | 1 Comment
  • Newspapers? It's "Hyper Local" to the rescue....
    With their backs to the wall for so long now, the newspaper industry can (and will) make an incredible 'comeback' that can be somewhat likened to a "Lazarus with a triple bypass" in (and soon) rising from their death beds.

    From within my post over at ShareCafe in OZ [Looksmart and RTB (a)] came the mention of the following: 

    #..The (Global) "geo-targeting" capabilities or, 'reach' of Adcenter have been clearly pointed out in this post (and the following one) and relates to Looksmart AdCenter publisher partner in REED Business Information  [re: AdCenter - GeoTargeting for DSPs], & that there's no doubt..bla, bla,...#

    Looksmart partner REED Business Information have many publications that are of interest to users globally and in handling their own advertising (via, what is a virtual Ad Network), they can soon get to enjoy revenues coming in from full-on 'geo-targeted' Ads. No matter where a user may be located, Ads relevant to both the user's behavioural 'likes' and avoiding 'dislikes' and targeted around his/her specific geographical location, are shown. 

    In REED's publication this story has caught my attention. ["Hyper Local" at World Newspaper Ad Conference‎]. The article advises of a March 'get-together' over in Denmark that is said to annually draw hundreds of newspaper advertising executives from around the globe, who meet to discuss their common goal.

    <..The event, organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News  Publishers (WAN-IFRA), includes content from WAN-IFRA's global newspaper and media research projects & features the most effective advertising strategies from among WAN-IFRA's 18,000 newspaper members world-wide.>

    "Hyper Local" is the theme of the conferance and the main speaker will be Nase Adresa of the Czech Republic who introduces a ..

    < project that is built around weekly print editions, which are exclusive to areas with a maximum of only 30,000 inhabitants, and are feeding their own hyper-local web pages.

    The objective, within the next three years, is to publish 200 different hyper-local weeklies in the Czech Republic, providing a national platform for advertisers.>

    Well, that subject has been one of my very own "pets" for a number of years now. And (I suspect) is the very reason as to why Rupert Murdoch went about buying up some 70% of all print publications in Australia. It's what we refer to here in OZ as our FREE "Local Rags" ...

    With more articles on local surburban (village) issues and full of Ads for "local" product and service providers. By creating 'interaction' between their existing 'hard copy' readership and the 'local' newspaper's website, advertisers will then be almost compelled to follow.

    Good old (well written) "Advertorials" for national brands with a Microsoft's Bing banner or, two []  "prompt" (to find "local" suppliers of that product or, service), would then seem a natural, world-wide.

    Besides (again) having Microsoft's Bing Search box installed on every web page of each of those newspaper, world wide. - Local schools, sporting associations, community services, etc can be invited (articles, pics, advice of coming events etc) to have their 'page' within the web edition & (again) with short prompts contained within those weekly print editions as an invite for readers to visit a local website.

    Former Looksmart CEO David Hills was famously quoted as saying, that.."There is more than one way to slice the pie" ...He wasn't wrong. For there will hardly be a business in the world that WON'T get to be involved, in advertising on the web. Think about it. And readers should be assured that it's all getting closer when the "dogs" start barking about it all.... All (of course), IMHO only.

    It’s A Great Time To Be A Search Marketer…It’s About To Get Better



    Disclosure: Long in LOOK
    Tags: LOOK, NWS, NYT
    Jan 16 7:30 PM | Link | 1 Comment
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