Marchex Joins with Fox to Publish Spanish-Language Sites

Marchex and Fox’s Latin American Channels division, a subsidiary of News Corporation, partnered to develop Spanish-language content for Web sites owned by the media firm. The content targets both a U.S. and international audience, moving toward global Internet goals.

Domains like (families), (salsa), (health), and (sports) target the Spanish-speaking market estimated at over 88 million Internet users, according to Internet World Stats. The demographic spans users in the U.S., South America, Central America, Mexico, Spain and other countries. Marchex said it paid a total of $10 million in cash for the Spanish-language sites.

Content fed to the sites from Fox’s Latin America Channels division comes from existing channels including Fox Toma 1, Utilisima, Fox, Fox Sports, Fox News, Speed Channel, and MyFox.

“We are building good sites that will target the entire Spanish-language market regardless of what country they are in,” said Peter Christothoulou, chief strategy officer at Marchex. “They tend to be the terms that are relatively interchangeable regardless of where you are from.”

Initial advertising includes a mix of graphical and pay-per-click text ads. Many of the sites in the Spanish-language classification will run ads served by Google, or sold directly by Marchex. Marchex has a partnership with Yahoo to handle its domestic holdings.

The content follows Marchex’s local and contextual relevance formula, which lends itself to advertising and search engine optimization. Searches on localized Google sites return such general domains at (greeting cards) or (pets) high in organic listings.

Targeting the Spanish-speaking market is the first step in Marchex’s strategy to expand globally. However, Christothoulou expects to look at additional global opportunities on a case-by-case basis. “We have our hands full with the Spanish market,” he said.

Marchex operates over 200,000 direct navigation Web sites, including many vertical and local domains. An additional initiative, expected in late June, is the re-launch of more than 100,000 local Web sites powered by Open List, a company Marchex acquired last May. Initially, Marchex will focus on its domestic sites to aggregate content under this system.

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