Thanks Loren Baker for an interesting teaser at Search Engine Journal regarding LookSmart's third quarter 2005 earnings. Judging from the recent statements from the new CEO, David Hills, there should be at least some good news to report. LookSmart has not only been venturing into new partnerships, but seems to be focusing strongly on vertical search.
I recently had a conversation with LookSmart marketing representative Jim Barkow about their products. They are increasing their efforts to launch vertical search engines, and do not overly use the LookSmart brand within them (College search example), in order to create a "more pure search network."
Baker mentions the partnership between LookSmart and Search123, a so-called "2nd (3rd?) Tier PPC provider." Naturally I asked Barkow about the efforts of LookSmart to combat fraudulent clicks. Apparently, LookSmart has been more careful in choosing their partners, based on past click fraud speculation, and they now have "a team of people dedicated to the matter of clickfraud." In terms of the listings provided to/by Search123, "LookSmart will determine the CPC bid and include it in the live feed sent in response to such query. LookSmart will have sole discretion to decide the CPC bid for each search term, and such CPC bid may change frequently."
I would welcome comments or emails from people that have been using this system. If we get some clients going on it, I will be sure to share as well. I am also curious to see how the reports come out on Thursday.