Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

Looksmart on Webmaster Radio - - Intent Data on 3 Billion Search Queries/day (Google/Yahoo)

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:

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? -

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'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 can we follow these users"?

He says he's "dealing with the publishers" get 'that good traffic' ..,,,,,'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..,,,,'s a really good network.. ..... I was surprised when I joined 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 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

"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!!