IDG Launches Vertical Text Ad Marketplace

Enterprise technology publisher International Data Group (IDG) has launched TechWords, a pay-per-click ad auction platform, across its network of U.S. Web sites using private-label technology from Quigo’s AdSonar platform.

“We want to have a range of marketing opportunities on our sites that will appeal to larger advertisers with brand-building and lead-generation campaigns, and smaller advertisers who want to spend more modestly,” Colin Crawford, IDG’s SVP online, told ClickZ News.

TechWords ads will appear both in search results on the sites and in contextual placements alongside news stories and other content.

While IDG has an agreement with Google to serve text ads on its MacWorld site and with Yahoo for PCWorld, it chose to implement Quigo’s private label platform on its enterprise-focused sites because that solution delivered more relevant results for the vertical, according to Crawford.

“We find that the big general search engines serve up good results when it comes to more horizontal markets. When it comes down to the vertical enterprise sites, their results aren’t quite as targeted,” Crawford said. “We wanted to be sure we give our users very specific content in ads to match the targeted content of our enterprise sites. We see this as a complementary service that’s very tailored to the opportunities in the enterprise environment.”

Another benefit of using Quigo was maintaining a direct relationship with advertisers, he said.

The self-service platform operates like other text ad networks, such as Google AdSense or Yahoo ContentMatch, allowing advertisers to bid on keywords. All TechWords ads will appear on the six U.S. sites in IDG’s technology-focused network, which includes cio.com, computerworld.com and networkworld.com. IDG’s sites garner approximately 5.5 million unique visitors every month.

TechWords may be purchased from IDG sales representatives, through Quigo or its partner ad agencies, or through IDG’s sites. Crawford expects the bulk of ads to come through the self-service interface on IDG sites, given the expected audience of smaller advertisers.

Quigo runs a category-based text ad network with verticals like news & information, lifestyle & health, real estate, travel & entertainment, business and sports. It also has signed several private-label deals with large newspaper publishers like Tribune, Hearst, and McClatchy.

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