Quova Detects Locale of Viewers

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Quova Inc. is expected today to introduce GeoPoint, Web tracking software that determines the city where Internet viewers or e-mail users are located.

Firms can use GeoPoint to target ads geographically, much as marketers do with print, radio and television advertising. The company said the system would personalize the customer viewing experience while adhering to local regulations for content distribution.

The company also said that knowing the geographic locations of viewers would enable a Web site to see higher click-through rates for ads, allowing sites to charge more for ad space.

The system distinguishes the user's location by collecting his IP address, Web server location and other relevant content. The information goes through several checks to ensure 90 percent accuracy, said Rajat Bhargava, chairman at Quova, Boston. GeoPoint reacts to a user's location in 20 milliseconds, enabling an ad-serving system to appropriate a geographically targeted ad nearly immediately.

Quova touts the program as privacy-friendly since it does not use cookies, registration information or clickstream data. Instead, GeoPoint employs the patent-pending Precision Mapping technology, which uses proprietary algorithms to map the Internet.

"For example, we know that there are [more than] 8 million IP addresses in Australia located on approximately 16,500 networks, and the primary land-based points are in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sidney," said Derald Muniz, chief technology officer at Quova.

Quova plans to release a new version of GeoPoint early next year that will be able to focus on even narrower geographic locations, including ZIP codes for users in the United States.

Pricing for GeoPoint 1.0 was not made available. Visit www.quova.com for more information.

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