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Press release 10 November 2004

Crystal Semantics launches Textonomy Advance - the next generation in targeted contextual advertising technology

“Sense Engine” improves relevance and accuracy of online ads by applying human linguistic principles

Crystal Semantics, the internet content and search company, today launched Textonomy Advance, its next-generation contextual advertising product. Developed by one of the world’s leading linguistics experts, Dr David Crystal, Textonomy Advance provides rapid contextual analysis of textual information online to identify the actual theme of each site and deliver the most effective advertisements.

Currently, contextual advertising systems merely deliver ads based on the presence of particular keywords. This method is fundamentally flawed as words can easily be taken out of context. The results can be disastrous for brands, for example advertisements selling knives appearing alongside a news story reporting a stabbing.

Textonomy Advance analyses the content of a web page to identify not just the keywords, but the context in which they are presented, drawing upon human understanding of language to go beyond the inadequate mathematical algorithms currently used by major search engines. Textonomy Advance is extremely flexible allowing marketers to deliver the right message at the right moment to their target audience in any ad format they require.

The Textonomy Advance system is powered by Crystal Semantics’ unique ‘Sense Engine’, which is the result of a six-year search linguistics development programme undertaken by Professor David Crystal, chairman of Crystal Semantics and one of the world’s foremost authorities on reference publishing and language. Dr. Crystal is currently honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Wales-Bangor, and has written more than 100 books on language, including The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language and The Penguin Dictionary of Language.

“Search engines, advertisers and online retailers must recognise that most English words have a variety of different meanings and contexts, not to mention various dialects and slang terms, that need to be accounted for in order to compile and deliver accurate results,” said Professor Crystal. “Unfortunately, search techniques in wide use today fail to adequately take these subtleties into account, resulting in clutter for end users and inaccurate targeting by advertisers. Textonomy Advance assures that ads also appear in context with the content, thus delivering more relevant placements and increasing click-through rates.”

According to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), the online advertising market is directly linked to the search and navigation market, as advertising constitutes a substantial majority of the revenues at top search engine companies. Paid search now comprises over 40 percent of total online advertising spending, up from 29 percent a year ago. Analysts expect the online ad market to rise by ten percent or more for the full year in 2004, registering more than $8 billion in sales.

The ‘Sense Engine’ technology developed by Crystal Semantics has a number of valuable applications outside of contextual advertising which are addressed through a range of products:

· Textonomy Reveal greatly increases the relevance of search engine queries by presenting the user with a choice between different definitions of their search term, and retrieving only those Web pages specific to that definition
· Textonomy Select enables the automatic categorisation of online and offline documents
· Textonomy Deduce allows e-commerce retailers to match a user’s search with the products offered. This addresses situations where users fail to search using the exact terms located in a retailer’s database, the user doesn’t find the product and sales opportunities are lost.

The apparatus developed to enable the Textonomy Sense Engine to function is patented in the UK, and a US patent has recently been allowed. For more information on Crystal Semantics please visit


About Crystal Semantics (
Crystal Semantics has developed Textonomy, the first Sense Engine to deliver significantly more accurate and powerful internet search results. By applying human "senses" and concepts that current algorithms, semantic systems and other statistical techniques cannot match, Textonomy uniquely uses human linguistic intuition, tapping into the semantic relationships between words and the contexts in which they occur. The Textonomy suite of products includes solutions for search and navigation, e-commerce and contextual advertising.

Based in Holyhead, UK, Crystal Semantics is a division of Crystal Reference Systems Limited – an internet content and search company. The company was founded in 2001 by Professor David Crystal, a world authority in linguistics, and managing director, Ian Saunders. It has provided online content for many major publishers including Penguin Books, A&E Television Networks and Webster Publishing and is one of the fastest growing online content publishers in Europe.

Further information

Alex Crawshaw / Ged Carroll / David Pincott, Pirate Communications

Tel: +44 (0)20 7760 7050 / /

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