Shortly after having a quick look at it's Q4 report it was so obvious that ... 'the times, they are a changing'. IMHO.
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 AdVertise.com site [discover-facts.com] 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 AdVertise.com), 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-in" test 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.
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Disclosure: Long LOOK