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New Search Behavioral Network Launched

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AlmondNet has launched a new "Post-Search" program that will deliver advertising across the web targeted to the topics someone has searched on recently, including queries done on major search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

Today's SearchDay article, AlmondNet Debuts "Post-Search" Search Behavioral Ad Network, looks at how the program operates, including privacy issues involved over search profiling. The version of the story for Search Engine Watch members goes into more detail from an advertiser's perspective on how ads are gathered and targeted.

In the story, I explain briefly how these new ads aren't the same as contextual ads. But they also differ from traditional behavioral ads in that the behavior being used isn't surfing habits but instead actual search history.

For more on behavioral ads in general, here are some stories worth considering. Keep in mind that none of these deal with using search as a form of behavioral targeting -- because until now, this hasn't been an option.

In a closing point, regular readers will know how I've long complained that contextual targeting isn't the same as search targeting, so I don't consider contextual ads part of the search space. They are sold by the major search companies -- but they are not delivered up in response to a search, nor viewed by someone in the same mindset who has conducted a search.

This doesn't mean they aren't a great form of advertising -- but you may want completely different creative for them. Depending on your audience, you might even find contextual is better than search. But they aren't the same -- and if anything should underscore how contextual is different than search, the fact that Google will let you run banners and other images ads for contextual placement shows how contextual is a different environment.

In contrast, despite the fact that this new ad network is putting ads on pages, rather than search results pages, it is to me firmly within the realm of search. It follows up on the search intent originally broadcast by someone out on the web. If it can overcome the privacy issues, it -- and no doubt other systems that will evolve like it -- should make for compelling ads.


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