Proximic Opens Google Killing Ad Platform

Ad platform startup eschews keywords for pattern matching as it seeks to challenge Google's online ad platform.

Proximic, whose contextual advertising platform was deemed a Google killer by press and analysts when the company introduced it last October, has opened its content and advertising program to help publishers make money from their traffic.

Opened June 17, the Proximic Publisher Program was previously reserved for large global publishers, helping them match ads to Web pages. Now mainstream media sites, blogs and other content producers can lever the 50 million-plus ad units in the startup's repository, Proximic CEO and co-founder Philipp Pieper told eWEEK.

While Google's AdWords and AdSense keyword search platforms have made it the monolithic power it is today, comprising the bulk of its $17 billion per year in online advertising cash, Pieper said keyword-based search approaches lack the matching quality and therefore the ability to select relevant ads from most advertising inventories.

Proximic offers a superior approach to read and match relevant content, leveraging interconnected "patterns" within each document. These patterns are not based on individual words but characters. Pieper himself called it really abstract so we'll leave it to him and his team to do the math.

"We made a strategic decision not to replicate the type of ad-bidding systems that Google and others have been running successfully for awhile," Pieper said. "Rather, our technology allows us to very quickly take lots of advertisements into the system and run live searches or matches on the hundreds of millions of ads at the same time."

At any rate, Pieper said this "proximity analysis" will help publishers quickly and accurately serve up meaningful articles, ads and products without keywords or other preset categories.
For now, Proximic is focusing on ad repositories from various sources. For example, the company is building media, shopping text-based ads and job-listing ads.
Proximic has inked deals to access e-commerce catalogs from partners, such as Yahoo Shopping and eBay's to help publishers match more relevant ads to content. Ideally, this helps publishers capture more revenue from their site traffic.
Pieper said Proximic's methodology is better optimized for monetizing the "long tail of content"-the glut of blogs and social sites that traditional approaches to advertising have struggled to monetize. This includes social networks, such as Facebook and MySpace.
"It's not intended to kill Google's AdSense or others players out there, but we do see that the contextual advertising space or the long tail of traffic needs automatic approaches to monetize it successfully," Pieper explained.
A beta version of the Proximic Publisher Program is now available. Publishers may visit Proximic and sign up similar to the way they would on AdSense.
This is fine, and having unique, even superior technology is great but before we can even think about Proximic kicking Google's largest leg on its stool out from under it, the company has to hold its own in the market with the other smaller fish as well.
This isn't an overnight battle. According to IDC's Karsten Weide, the online ad market has yet to even boom. Weide estimates Internet advertising revenue will double from $25.5 billion in 2007 to $51 billion in 2012.