Knight Ridder Digital to Distribute SideStep

Travel search engine SideStep has inked a deal that distributes its results and advertisers ads on the 31 newspapers sites in the Knight Ridder Digital network.

“The main impact for advertisers is more reach,” said Phil Carpenter, SideStep’s VP of marketing. “It’s more exposure to qualified prospects for SideStep advertisers.”

The company announced the news as the Search Engine Strategies conference, put on by ClickZ parent Jupitermedia, is underway in New York.

Carpenter says its CPC (define), cost-per-action (CPA), and CPM (define) ads will be distributed on Knight Ridder’s sites, which include the Web presences of The Miami Herald, Mercury News (San Jose, CA), and Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, TX). The network receives 9.4 million unique monthly visitors, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

SideStep began to prepare for such distribution deals when it launched its Web presence in January. Previously, the service had been available only by application download. Though SideStep is the oldest and most established of the travel search players, recent entries such as Kayak.com, Yahoo’s Farechase, and Mobissimo have heated up the competition for audience and advertisers.

SideStep’s advertising clients include JetBlue Airways, Continental Airlines, Hyatt Corp., Orbitz, Best Western, and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.

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