LookSmart signs with blinkx.com, enhances FindArticles

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LookSmart, an online advertising and technology company, has signed an agreement with video search engine blinkx.com to power video search results on LookSmart's largest consumer site, FindArticles.com.

FindArticles' new video content will include news clips, short documentaries, TV content, movies and other video served to the consumers based on their search terms. The agreement with blinx is expected to increase LookSmart's audience and improve its consumption metrics.

"We liked the folks from blinkx a lot because they deal directly with the publishers, so everything's all squared up upfront," said Dave Hills, president/CEO of LookSmart.

"They've got a wide variety of video in a bunch of categories which really mirrors our audience [that] tends to be very, very broad at FindArticles."

San Francisco-based LookSmart offers advertisers targeted, pay-per-click search advertising and banners through its consumer Web properties and a monitored ad distribution network, private-label solutions for publishers and vertical search sites and Web tools for consumers. The company claims to have quadrupled its audience since 2005.

"We wanted to start to improve on the consumption metrics of our network," Mr. Hills said, "and, obviously, video is one of those things that lets you do that. Plus, it gives us better options from a search engine optimization standpoint."

Blinkx speech recognition technology claims to deliver results that are more accurate than standard metadata-based keyword searches. It has indexed seven million hours of video and audio content, including TV, news clips, short documentaries, music videos and video blogs.

"We've found that publishers are looking for additional outlets and additional views to their content," Mr. Hills said. "As a result, we hope what will happen is that publishers say, 'Gee, an increasingly friendly environment that makes sure that I get my fair share of the value of the content,'" he said.

FindArticles attracted 17.6 million unique visitors in November. It touts its ad-targeting as a market strength and plans to offer targeting with any in-video advertising viable with blinx video content. For now, there are no specific plans for the type of ads LookSmart will use with the new video search results. Mr. Hills said over time the company will look for creative ways to work from an advertising perspective.

"It's all about additional content exposure for the user. That all maps back for the advertising side of your audience to our taxonomy that helps us place ads in really specific places with there still being enough audience that it's still worth the advertiser spending their time on."

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