LookSmart Starts 5 Vertical Engines

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Search firm LookSmart's five vertical search engines that launched this week will allow more tailored searches based on consumer demographics, along with new ad units for marketers.


The San Francisco company's new search sites are: teenja.com, a "homework helper" site for teens; gradewinner.com for tweens; 24hourscholar.com for college students; parentsurf.com for all family matters; and gobelle.com, designed for moms on the go.


LookSmart said these search engines will let consumers obtain more targeted results than other engines, saving them time and effort as they seek content relevant to their needs. So on Teenja.com, LookSmart set up categories of topics that teens most often research.


"We found there was a gap in the marketplace," said Debby Richman, senior vice president of consumer products at LookSmart. "With open Web searches, you find lots and lots of stuff ... or you might get results relevant to the terms you're searching on, but the destinations may not be reliable."


Richman said the five engines build upon LookSmart's core demographics of researchers and families from the company's existing consumer products, FindArticles and Net Nanny.


LookSmart also is developing advertising programs for the new sites, letting marketers buy sponsored search listings, banners and other types of ad units.


The five engines and all other LookSmart search properties soon will be tightly integrated via Furl, LookSmart's "consumer online filing cabinet" that lets users save content to a personal archive and share information with others.


Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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