Snap.com Relaunch Mixes Ads and Organic Results

  |  May 15, 2006   |  Comments

The new site design offers large landing page previews.

The Snap.com search engine is expected to relaunch today with a variety of user interface changes -- chief among them a page preview and the interspersing of sponsored results with organic listings.

The left side of the search results page shows text summaries of each site, with ads designated by a "sponsored result" tag, and the right side displays a preview of whichever site is highlighted on the left. Advertisers can customize the right-hand preview that is displayed in conjunction with their ads. Users can scroll down to display different previews and, on some browsers, even interact with the actual site on the right pane without leaving the search engine. The idea is to avoid the phenomenon in which users click through to search results pages only to click back when they find it's not what they wanted.

"The ubiquity of broadband allows us to do things in a different way," Tom McGovern, CEO of Perfect Market, the parent of Snap.com, told ClickZ. Perfect Market is part of the Idealab network, which spawned search pioneer Overture, later acquired by Yahoo.

Other players, notably Ask.com with its binoculars feature, have experimented with offering users previews of landing pages, but Snap.com's previews are larger and they permit more interaction than those of others.

Though some might argue that interspersing ads with organic results would result in a commercially tainted service, McGovern contends that sponsored links can be very relevant on certain searches.

The company uses a combination of factors to rank results including post-click behavior, conversion ratings, text analysis and link analysis. Because Snap.com allows advertisers to buy on a cost-per-action basis, it must gathers information on conversions from advertisers' sites. It uses that information to rank results. The company also buys anonymous clickstream data from third parties to analyze post-click behavior.

"By using the power of the masses and all their brainpower, we synthesize that into people's intent," said McGovern. Later, McGovern said the company wasn't in any hurry to overtake Google or Yahoo. "This is a type of search that some people will like now. In five years' time, I think it'll be an important part of search."

In conjunction with the launch, Snap.com is conducting a contest called "The Other Way to Launch." Until June 9, the company will solicit marketing and advertising ideas from its audience, asking them to post them to its blog and vote on others' suggestions. At the end of that time, the company will award $5,000 to the person whose idea got the most votes. It will also give $5,000 to the blog that refers the person with the winning idea.

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pamela Parker

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.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.

Resources

Jobs

    • Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative
      Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative (Agora Financial) - BaltimoreAgora Financial, one of the nation's largest independent publishers...
    • Managing Editor
      Managing Editor (Common Sense Publishing) - BaltimoreWE’RE HIRING: WE NEED AN AMAZING EDITOR TO POLISH WORLD-CLASS CONTENT   The Palm...
    • Senior Paid Search & Advertising Manager
      Senior Paid Search & Advertising Manager (Smarty Had A Party) - St. LouisCompany Description: A warm, loving, [slightly wacky] startup, we view...