About.com Relaunches with Behavioral Targeting

Consumer advice and information site About.com has completed a redesign that includes new content and ad personalization technologies.

With the relaunch, the Primedia property has added dynamic page creation and behavioral targeting technologies from Tacoda Systems. Users will be served with personalized content and targeted advertising on whatever part of the site they visit.

Advertisers are given a choice between traditional content-based targeting and ad placement based on user profile, which effectively enables them to serve relevant advertising to high-value site visitors wherever they are on the site.

“By creating a model that understands user preferences and behavior, we are able to fill the gap left open by traditional search,” said Peter Horan, CEO of About.com. “We have the ability to identify specific market segments and target them instantly. This gives us an enormous competitive advantage across multiple verticals since we have the ability to create new targeted inventory on the fly.”

The redesign also raises the prominence of About.com’s brand throughout the entire Web presence. The new site gives users a strong branding experience no matter what page they land on, and immediately invites them deeper into the site. This is important, Horan said, since visitors regularly navigate directly to individual content pages.

“What we’re trying to do is map our site to the way people use media today,” he said. “More folks are coming to the site via search and via links to articles. Our mission is to make every article page a front door for the site. It shouldn’t matter to a user how they came or where they land; they should immediately feel in control.”

Under the redesign, About.com retains its “guide system” design, featuring 23 content channels populated with material from approximately 475 topical advisors or “Guides.” About.com is the 14th most trafficked Web site on the Internet, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

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