Search firm Quigo Technologies is expected to launch a content-targeted text ad network today. AdSonar Exchange will focus on vertical content areas.
The company says its technology and its vertical focus allows it to target ads with greater relevance. The new network will compete most closely with Google's AdSense for content, Overture's Content Match, Kanoodle's ContextTarget and vertical player IndustryBrains. (Quigo's technology powers Overture's content-targeted advertising.)
"We knew from talking to advertisers and publishers that the current content-targeting products were missing the ad placement accuracy they both wanted, and frankly needed," said Michael Yavonditte, Quigo's CEO.
The new pay-per-click network, called AdSonar Exchange, launches with around 200 publishers in the health; beauty and fitness; travel and education content areas. The minimum cost per click in health and travel has been set at $0.25. The minimum for education is $0.20.
When advertisers sign up for AdSonar Exchange, Quigo uses its FeedPoint technology to analyze the advertiser's Web pages to come up with appropriate keywords and ad copy. Google is testing similar technology, search engine marketers say, apparently for its Jumpstart program. Such technology frees advertisers from the need to come up with keywords, typically part of the process for those using Quigo's competitors.
After analyzing advertisers' pages, Quigo's AdSonar technology then looks at publishers' pages to determine the most relevant places, within pre-determined verticals, to display the ads. Ad ranking is determined both by bid price and by relevance.
"The semantic engine sits in between education advertisers and education publishers and determines the best matches," explained Yavonditte, giving an example of how things would work in one of the content verticals.
Though Overture is already using Quigo's technology for ad placement and Google uses a similar process, Yavonditte says the addition of content categories will ensure ads are displayed in the context advertisers are seeking.
Yavonditte says Quigo has already lined up several "big name" advertisers, though he would only name Priceline.
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Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
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