Contextual advertising provider Kanoodle has acquired a domain name registrar, separated its search and content-targeted ad businesses, and will restructure all three units under a parent company called Seevast.
Seevast, headed up by Kanoodle's former management team, will oversee three operating units. The company's existing search-targeted sponsored links will remain under the Kanoodle brand. The content-targeted sponsored links will be separated out under a new operating business, Pulse 360. Newly acquired Moniker.com will continue to operate as an independent business unit, headed by existing CEO Monte Cahn and president Eric Harrington.
"Kanoodle had been defined in the marketplace as a provider of search-based sponsored links. It was challenging, both internally and externally, to get people to recognize what we had become and where we were going as opposed to where we'd been," SeeVast CEO Lance Podell told ClickZ.
The goal of this shuffling of businesses is to provide focus and better server customers of each business, according to Podell. The company has always used distinct targeting methods and maintained separate marketplaces for search and content pages. By separating the two into their own operating companies, Seevast hopes to improve the quality and streamline the operation of each business.
"We saw a real opportunity to better server the needs of our advertisers and publishers by spinning out the content business. We feel we're in a better position to enhance services to and for our customers," Podell said. Getting employees to rally around each product and focus on it separately will help both companies continue to innovate, he said.
Moniker.com's business is “domain asset management.” It is one of the 10 largest domain name registrars in the world, handling domain registration, management, appraisal, sales, auctions, and parked domain monetization through its TrafficClub service. TrafficClub will show Pulse 360 ads on the pages it manages, as well as those from Google and other providers.
The operating companies, though independent, will have some overlap of customers. Advertisers often buy both sponsored links across search engines and contextual ads, so they will now deal with both Kanoodle and Pulse 360. They also often buy multiple domain names, so they will also be able to work with Moniker. Site owners can work with Pulse 360 to display ads on their content sites, and with Moniker.com for their domain name services.
"Where integration makes sense, we'll do it. Where it's not practical, the businesses will operate as separate entities," Podell said.
Moniker has more than 1.5 million domain names under management for clients like the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Lionsgate Films, and Yahoo. The Pulse 360 content network includes MarketWatch.com, MSNBC.com, USATODAY.com, and more than 100 CBS TV and radio sites.
The acquisition of Moniker could be the first of many moves into other areas of online marketing for Seevast, Podell said. "Seevast gives us the operation infrastructure to go out, over time, and expand the scope of our complementary businesses. You can envision a day when we either buy or build additional units," he said.
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Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.
Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.
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