AT&T To Acquire Pay Per Call Company Ingenio

AT&T announced plans to acquire Ingenio whose Pay Per Call technology they intend to integrate with, according to the company press release.

"AT&T plans to integrate Ingenio's Pay Per Call solutions into its directory service and local search advertising portfolio, including the YELLOWPAGES.COM Network, AT&T Real Yellow Pages and 1-800-Yellow Pages. Ingenio's Pay Per Call service is an advertising platform that allows businesses to manage their ad programs and generate valuable phone leads. The platform uses proprietary technology to provision unique published phone numbers to track calls to businesses generated by those ads, and advertisers' fees are based on the volume of these leads," the release stated.

Interesting play into the space, and a smart forward move on the part of the local directories. The use of online information sources for local searches previously done with Yellow Books and 411 calls is on the rise and the old major players need to adapt to this change.

Just how effectively they use the technology will be the test.

"Throughout the past few years, we have built and deployed innovative products that help the services economy flourish online," said Mark Britto, president and CEO of Ingenio. "What we have lacked, however, is scale -- the ability to bring those solutions to the market in the biggest possible way. Our merger with AT&T allows us to bring our innovations to more businesses nationwide."

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.